LiCEA: Helping SMEs measure and reduce energy use

Major energy users can realise big energy savings – if they know how. The LiCEA project develops a simplified energy audit that lets SMEs analyse their power usage and identify ways to save via an innovative methodology and a Smart Tool to measure resource utilisation and environmental performance during industrial production.

Additional tools

Participants gather at the fourth project meeting in Mantova, Italy. Participants gather at the fourth project meeting in Mantova, Italy.

Reducing energy use, and thus energy costs, helps SMEs stay competitive. At the same time, reducing energy also has environmental benefits, such as lowering greenhouse gas emissions. In support of these benefits, the European Commission has highlighted the importance of using energy efficiency audits.

The Life Cycle based Energy Audit (LiCEA) project provides an innovative system for conducting these essential energy audits. Unlike other solutions, the LiCEA methodology has proven to discover unexploited opportunities for energy saving throughout an SME’s supply chain. Its involvement of energy efficiency experts ensures an innovative and professional solution and guarantees a widespread dissemination of the results to a range of stakeholders.

The end result is the release of a standardised tool available to all SMEs for auditing the energy efficiency of their production processes.

Adding value with a life-cycle perspective

LiCEA’s differentiator is the addition of a life-cycle perspective to the energy audit process. Traditional auditing methods involved an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation in a building, process or system in order to determine the best way to reduce the amount of energy input without negatively affecting the output.

The LiCEA tool, on the other hand, tests SMEs from six production oriented industrial districts around central Europe. Its ability to be replicated means it can easily be used across various regions and sectors.

Everyone benefits

It’s not only businesses that benefit from a LiCEA audit. Over 40 local energy agencies, six business development centres and nearly 300 energy managers were all involved in  the project activities and thus are now fully familiar with the LiCEA tool. As these partners implement the auditing tool int their own companies and organisations, the LiCEA tool is setting a new standard in the field of industrial energy auditing

“An energy audit is often the very first step in making your company more efficient and cost-effective. The audit can help you to assess how much energy your company wastes and to evaluate what measures you can take to improve efficiency. But remember, audits alone don’t save energy: you need to also implement the recommended improvements.”

Maurizio Castelli, Council Member of the Province of Mantova for Energy and Innovation, Italy

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Life Cycle based Energy Audit (LiCEA)” is EUR 1 032 163,34, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 812 600,87 from the Operational Programme “CENTRAL EUROPE” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date