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The chemical industry recognises the large potential for energy efficiency in SMEs although energy consumption is not always identified as a priority. This project is designed to bridge the gap between the potential and current practice in chemical SMEs, which account for approximately 20% of the 56 million tonnes of oil equivalents energy use in the chemicals sector. The work programme is designed to develop a two pronged approach: Firstly, assess the needs and develop best practices and appropriate delivery mechanisms for SMEs in Italy, Poland and Bulgaria. The material and the mechanisms will then be tested with two SME partners in each country. Subsequently, the material and the approach will be refined and a roll-out campaign will be undertaken to reach a relevant number of SMEs per country. It is intended that this initiative will continue after the completion of the CARE+ project and the project wants to explore the options for further internationalisation.


  • Develop and offer an energy efficiency scheme for SMEs in the European chemical industry (Best Practice Manual and Self Audit Guide) • Publication of report on the experience in the Netherlands and the UK • Publication of report on the existing policy framework and experience with energy efficiency in the target countries • Publication of survey on energy management in chemical SMEs • Launch of different marketing activities • Testing of first draft guidance documents with the pilot SMEs
  • Disseminate information about energy efficient technologies and energy management systems to SMEs • Roll-out of final CARE+ tools (Self Audit Guide, including Excel Sheets & Best Practice Workbook) to more than 70 SMEs in the three partner countries in respective national language
  • Through training and auditing, demonstrate to SMEs energy efficiency reserves and the cost-effectiveness of improved practices and technologies • National roll-out campaigns in close collaboration between the national association and an energy expert • European and international dissemination started at the EUSEW 2010, followed by numerous presentations at national and European events • More countries such as Finland agreed to integrate CARE+ in their national approaches
  • Propose special investment schemes to facilitate implementation of identified energy efficiency measures in SMEs as for instance in Italy with the White Certificate Scheme
  • Improve the sector’s energy efficiency performance: Energy saving potential of about 15-20% may be reasonably achieved in the majority of audited SMEs through technical and management action.

Lessons learned

  • Feedback from SMEs • Most of the SMEs did not have any control of their energy consumption expenses: guidelines helped them to increase their awareness • Documentation showed how to implement an effective Energy Control System
  • Technical measures and intervention with highest potential • Introduction of Energy Monitoring System • Steam and Condensate System improvement, Heat Recovery and Thermal Insulation • Replacement of Electrical Equipment (Compressed Air - VSD, HVAC Systems, Motors and Drives, Transformers, Lightning) • Boiler House and Cogeneration
  • Areas for improvement • Often, lack of involvement of higher management • Despite materials still lots of individual advice/education needed (due to lack of staff and experience with energy monitoring systems in general)

Partners and coordinator

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Conseil Européen de l'Industrie Chimique
Contact point: 
Martina Beitke
+32 (0)2 676 7367


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In brief

01/10/2008 to 30/09/2011
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