News Release

University of Warwick Energy and Net Zero roadmap helps reduce KW/h

WMG, at the University of Warwick, has launched an Energy and Net Zero Roadmap called Business Energy Aid Toolkit to help manufacturing SME companies reduce their energy consumption

Business Announcement

University of Warwick

WMG, at the University of Warwick, has launched an Energy and Net Zero Roadmap called Business Energy Aid Toolkit (BEAT), to help manufacturing small, medium enterprise (SME) companies reduce their energy consumption, save on costs and increase profitability. The programme has already proven a success, with business energy savings of up to 90%.


In response to the current energy crisis, WMG, at the University of Warwick, specialising in driving innovation in science, technology and engineering, has assembled a team of engineers and business specialists dedicated to helping SMEs.  The work they will deliver through BEAT, involves a thorough review of SMEs manufacturing energy consumption, including looking at their operational efficiency to provide a detailed assessment with a set of energy saving recommendations. 


According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the UK private sector comprises largely of non-employing businesses and small employers. SMEs account for 99.9% of the business population (5.6 million businesses).* Therefore, improving energy efficiency has an important role to play in delivering affordable, sustainable and secure energy for the UK.


WMG, ran a successful pilot programme in October 2022, working with three companies who have already yielded great success, with energy savings of up to 90% on individual machines and up to 46% in the overall production facility. Results show that there has been considerable cost savings for the companies that has also helped them to kick start their journey to net zero.


One of these pilot companies is Alucast** who have made the following

  • 19,971 kgCO2 = 19.9 tonnes. This is the equivalent of driving 65,670 miles in an average car. (First 2 years).
  • 19.9 tonnes CO2 = Driving around the world in a diesel car 2.86 times.


In addition to energy saving recommendations, BEAT will also advise on what the likely return on energy saving infrastructure investments would be and where companies can look to for further help with investment.


The programme uses proven tools and techniques such as a combination of monitoring equipment including energy clamps which enable detailed analysis of the energy used by individual machines, and value stream maps to illustrate beneficial saving.


For example, it could be as simple as energy saving advice or it could be as complicated as a full data gathering audit for how a company is using energy in processes. For high energy using companies (e.g. foundries, heat treatment etc.) the WMG team can offer advice on how to use waste heat at a low cost to lessen energy costs. 


Christopher Wells, project lead, at WMG, University of Warwick said, “The Energy and Net Zero Roadmap - Business Energy Aid Toolkit, is a value-based programme for manufacturing SMEs. We recognise that companies need help and assistance in reducing their energy consumption and not just reducing the price they pay per KWh.


“Our team are dedicated to helping manufacturing businesses save energy and increase profitability. This not only helps to preserve our rich manufacturing base but helps companies and the UK move toward net zero targets.


“Furthermore, we’ve always been at the forefront of helping manufacturers maximise the use of innovation. That is why we are working with companies to maximise the use of innovative techniques in areas such as the field of heat recovery, taking a more transformative step such as introducing new or replacement technologies or business practices. This has never been more important than in the case of energy usage reduction.”

Tony Sartorius, Chairman of Alucast said, “In the current energy crisis, the Business Energy Aid Toolkit (BEAT) has been beneficial to Alucast, as we are a high energy user with three aluminium foundries..

“We began by selecting several machines to assess and managed their uptime more effectively to ensure energy is only used when actually processing parts only. This effectively eliminated idle time energy use and created substantial CO2 reductions around 10 tonnes per annum, whilst at the same time reducing KWhs used.

“The team of WMG engineers have helped the company reduce our energy usage, lower carbon emissions, and save waste. We have also had the opportunity to exchange best practice at several roundtables and visit other factories to assess where energy savings could be made.”

For further information please contact: Media Relations, University of Warwick.


Notes to editors:

  • WMG has provided top five tips to businesses to help lower their energy consumption. Learn more here. WMG is the largest academic department at the University of Warwick and is the leading international role model for successful collaboration between academia and the public and private sectors, driving innovation in science, technology and engineering. The University of Warwick is one of the UK’s leading universities with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for innovation, and for links with business and industry.
  • * Business population estimates for the UK and regions 2021: statistical release
  • Information on Alucast (one of the companies participating in the WMG BEAT pilot scheme).

Alucast is an aluminum foundry in Wednesbury, (West Midlands), and a very high energy user. As most manufacturers are, Alucast were struggling with increased energy prices and looking for ways to reduce consumption and measure the benefits for full machine shop roll out. This project focused on the benefits of shut down periods over the weekends rather than leaving machines idle, a common manufacturing idea is that it causes issues in the restart if machines are fully shut down. This project aimed to measure the potential savings and de-risk the process. By measuring consumption of 4 different types of machines when left idle over a weekend compared to being switched off measured savings of 95,107 kWh, £78,225  and 19,971 kgCO2eq over a 2 year period on 17 machines. The percentage energy consumption saving over the weekend is 100% but over a working week this will save an average of 19% of energy consumption.

  • 19,971 kgCO2 = 19.9 tonnes. This is the equivalent of driving 65,670 miles in an average car. (First 2 years).
  • 19.9 tonnes CO2 = Driving around the world in a diesel car 2.86 times.




1 mile





















Gov GHG accounting : conversion-factors-2021-condensed-set-most-users.xls (

Medium car: Petrol/LPG/CNG - from 1.4-litre to 2.0-litre engine

Diesel - from 1.7-litre to 2.0-litre engine

Others - vehicles models of a similar size (i.e. generally market segment C)

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