The semiconductor industry is committed to CO2 reduction through improved energy efficiency. However, CO2 emissions are not the only concern and for most manufacturers, energy costs are one of the major input costs of doing business. NMI maintains an active Utilities Best Practice Forum aimed at reducing costs through engagement in Government programs such as Climate Change Agreements, intelligent procurement or energy efficiency.

NMI maintains an active Utilities Best Practice Forum aimed at reducing costs through engagement in Government programs such as Climate Change Agreements, intelligent procurement or energy efficiency.

Climate Change Agreements

Climate Change Levy is a tax on energy use for businesses operating in the UK. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has recognised the need to give special consideration to energy-intensive industries with regards to climate change, given their energy use and their need to compete internationally.

Consequently, energy-intensive industries can obtain a 65% discount from the Climate Change Levy, provided they meet challenging targets for improving their energy efficiency or reducing their carbon emissions. This discount will increase to 90% from April 2013.

Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) set the terms under which eligible companies may claim the levy reduction. They are essentially a contract between DECC and industrial sectors to improve energy efficiency in exchange for a tax saving. Across participating NMI members, this tax saving has a value of approximately £2.5m per year.

NMI’s role in maintaining CCA’s is to:

  • Assist new members with applications to qualify for a CCA
  • Ensure existing members are well-informed about compliance requirements
  • Consult with members and feed their views into DECC consultations
  • Collect and manage the required data from industry to DECC

Utilities Best Practice Forum

NMI facilitates a regular meeting with the Facilities & Utilities Managers. These meetings usually held at a member premises ensure:
Current legislation / consultation is reviewed
Attendees receives important information from external bodies such as The Carbon Trust
There is opportunity to share “Best practice” / energy saving projects across the industry

Energy Saving Projects

NMI members have a collaborative outlook on energy saving projects. It is an area that does not get close to the “IP” of the individual members and, working in collaboration, it is an area where we can help UK sites be more competitive internationally. Individual projects are regularly shared through the Utilities Best Practice Forum and several industry-wide projects have been undertaken. On each of these projects, funding proposals were made to The Carbon Trust which were all accepted. The projects undertaken were:

Energy Benchmarking – “CT2004”

This project quantified energy use in the various subs-systems within the participating sites. This project provided the basis for more detailed examination of the main energy consuming projects.

Air Conditioning and Air Handling – “CT2006”

This was a significant project, co-ordinated by NMI and employed specialist consultants CH2MHill-IDC, with substantial funding from The Carbon Trust. This project developed a “Toolbox” which provided a common approach across all participants and customised for each site. It provided each site with the ability to do relatively complex modeling between facilities parameters and the impact on energy use.

This project identified carbon savings potential of 160,000 tonnes per year. Many of the suggested projects were implemented across the industry. Project outcomes were formally audited and approved by The Carbon Trust. This project was formally recognised by The Carbon Trust and promoted as a leading exemplar across different sectors. The project also won the prestigious Environmental Initiative Award from The Trade Association Forum.

Chiller Optimisation – “CT2008”

This project was a natural extension to the CT2006 project looking in more detail at chiller systems. The report highlighted a range of useful recommendations, reviewed on a site-by-site basis and summarised below for the sector as a whole:

  • Opportunities to implement monitoring/targeting programme
  • Challenge historical setpoints/parameters
  • Closer relationship required between manufacturing and facilities
  • Reduce fab recirc units to minimal level
  • Reduce fab pressure to minimal level
  • Install VSD’s on all circulating pumps
  • Change from duty/duty to duty standby pumps
  • Utilise free cooling methods (Cooling tower or Boosted cold water) for PCW, SCW, Compressor & Vacuum pumps
  • Change out chillers to match seasonal load
  • Be willing to take calculated risks!

Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator – 2010

The scope of this project was different as it was focused on energy savings more related to wafer processing and away from facilities infrastructure.

Energy Efficiency Awards

In order to promote energy efficiency, NMI has maintained an Energy Efficiency Award. Sites are rated on:

  • The value/scale of energy saving projects
  • Their overall approach to energy management
  • The interaction with the wider NMI Community