Capability statement

Industrial energy efficiency


For further information contact:

Mark Johnson


Industrial energy efficiency

Industry uses more than one third of global energy consumption and this is estimated to grow at an annual rate of between 1.8% and 3.1% over the next 25 years. Industrial energy efficiency decouples economic growth from its associated environmental impacts, reduces industrial energy intensity and improves business competitiveness. Therefore, improving energy efficiency is critical to the commercial performance of a business across its global markets. It is also one of the most cost-effective measures to enable countries to meet their objectives for energy demand, energy security and environmental protection, including mitigating climate change emissions.

Ricardo Energy & Environment’s specialists have a proven track record of designing and implementing industrial energy efficiency mechanisms including voluntary agreements, subsidy policies and carbon markets.

Our work brings together expertise on policy design; capacity building and technical expertise in industrial emissions abatement; renewable energy; climate finance; measurement, reporting and verification (MRV); and inventory design.

Ricardo Energy & Environment’s clients include national governments, the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, the UN Development Programme, GIZ (Germany’s leading provider of international cooperation services), UK Government (including the Department of Energy & Climate Change and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), multinational corporations, and a wide range of other public and private sector organisations.

Our services
Our industrial energy efficiency services include:

  • Establishing energy efficiency programmes that cover supply and demand sides across all major sectors.
  • Supporting governments in the design of new programmes using policy tools such as stakeholder engagement, impact assessment and evaluation.
  • New and emerging technology reviews including abatement assessment, benchmarking and scenario
  • analysis.
  • Supporting companies in meeting their objectives for energy efficiency and carbon reductions.
  • Energy efficiency auditing to the latest ISO standards.
  • Developing MRV frameworks and associated guidance.
  • Training and capacity building including the design and delivery of tailored programmes to manage energy systems and improve energy efficiency.
  • Producing technical ‘how to’ guides, case studies and benchmarking data to enable easy comparison of energy use with that of competitors and industry best practice.

Our experience
Examples of our work in this field include:

  • Support to the World Bank for the development of energy efficiency certificate trading for the main industrial enterprises in China.
  • Abatement assessments for the UK Committee on Climate Change of industrial sectors (refineries, iron and steel, cement, chemicals, food and drink, and glass) that emit large quantities of carbon dioxide.
  • Reviewing and updating the carbon budget trajectories for industry.
  • Assessing the evidence base for decarbonisation of industrial heat production.
  • Developing industrial emissions benchmarks for products and energy use.
  • Implementing a major UK Government programme of tax incentives for capital investment in energy efficiency equipment.
  • Developing and managing the Good Quality Combined Heat and Power (CHP) accreditation system.
  • Policy development support for the UK’s implementation of the European Union Energy Efficiency Directive’s requirements for mandatory energy audits.
  • Managing a programme of industrial energy audits in the Russian Federation for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).


Voluntary sectoral agreements

Since 2001, we have developed and managed a voluntary agreement system for industrial energy efficiency covering 54 sectors and nearly 10,000 facilities in the UK. Our work includes abatement assessment, target setting, sector facilitation and engagement, MRV system development and compliance auditing. The system has achieved reductions in energy intensity of around 20% over the last decade.