Examples & case studies 

Enjoy these examples of how companies improved competitiveness and energy performance by identifying and valuing multiple benefits! Our Library contains the full, updated suite of case studies.



Example: Change in hot water supply leads to increased safety, reliability and cost savings 

An industrial company active in high-precision mechanical work identified an energy saving opportunity to de-commission two storage tanks. Prior to implementing the measure, these two storage tanks were used in the cleaning and drying process after milling metal pieces. 1-2 times a day the tanks were emptied and cleaned with cold water and then re-filled with cold water. During this operation, thermal shocks occured, which had the potential to induce splitting. In addition, the storage tanks were cleaned once a month using acid formic, a highly dangerous chemical, to remove calcareous. The following multiple benefits were identified and valued as part of the storage tanks de-comissioning measure: 

Impact on value proposition and increased sales

  • Increased safety
  • Increased reliability of equipment and facilities
  • Increase staff satisfaction and loyalty
  • Contribution to company's vision and strategy

Cost reductions

  • Lower water consumption
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Lower consumption of consumables (equipment to protect against formic acid)
  • Less equipment needed
  • Reduced energy costs (use of waste heat)

Risk reductions

  • Reduced accident risk (formic acid)
  • Reduced legal risk
  • Reduction of breakdowns and production risk (tank splitting and replacement in emergency due to thermal shocks)

Download the full case study.

Source: Multiple Benefits project 

Example: Surface treatment company improves product consistency and increases production capacity 

An energy efficiency audit of a Swiss surface treatment company identified an opportunity to replace ageing rectifiers (used for electronic galvanising) with new rectifiers that had improved monitoring. New rectifiers entailed numerous positive impacts on the company’s value proposition, risk reduction and cost reduction. When energy savings alone were considered, the simple payback for energy efficiency measures was calculated at 6 years (internal rate of return of 6.9%). However, when the financial outcomes derived from the multiple benefits of the opportunity were considered, the simple payback reduced significantly to 0.85 years (internal rate of return of 118%). Including Multiple Benefits improves IRR from 6.9% to 118%, greatly improving the case for implementation.

Impact on value proposition and increased sales

  • More consistent product quality 
  • Much higher production capacity (due to reduced production time)
  • Increased product range
  • Increased staff loyalty
  • Space-savings

Cost reductions

  • Reduced part rejection
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Reduced cooling water costs
  • Decreased overtime (which previously was required to re-manufature parts rejected due to rectifiers' failures)
  • Reduced energy costs

Risk reductions

  • Reduced risk of staff accidents
  • Lower commercial risk
  • Lower legal risk
  • Reduced risk of outages
  • Reduced CO2 risk (decreased risk of failure to achieve voluntary commitments)

Download the full case study.

Source: Cooremans C., Eco’Diagnostic, Monney L., Greenwatt, Canton of Vaud Energy audit program, 31 May 2016. 


External examples

Aluminum producer improves reliability and sales

Worsley Alumina initiated a system optimisation project with the aim to reduce energy demand. Ultimately, they reduced operator workload and error and improved system stability and reliability, which allowed them to increase production by 3 000 tonnes of aluminium per year and to lower maintenance costs (through fewer charge-outs). The increased production had a commercial value of USD 6 million per year (USD/yr) (given a sales price of USD 2 000 per tonne).

Impact on value proposition and increased sales
  • More consistent product quality (thanks to improved system stability and reliability)
  • Higher production capacity
  • Increased staff loyalty
Cost reductions
  • Reduced operator workload
  • Reduced operator error
  • Reduced product rejection 
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Reduced marginal CO2 costs
Risk reductions
  • Increased staff comfort
  • Lower commercial risk
  • Lower legal risk
  • Reduced risk of quality problems

Source: Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, IEA report, 2014, p.131.