Briefs: New online energy-efficiency benchmarking tool

The ICE-E (Improving Cold Storage Equipment in Europe) project is launching a new online benchmarking tool making it possible for users to compare the performance of their cold store against statistical data, identify potential energy savings and optimise their energy and environmental performance. The test is available in 9 European languages (Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish): ICE-E is funded by the European Union, involves a number of teams across Europe and aims at reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the European food-cold-storage sector through application of energy-efficient equipment choices, in line with European policy. ICE surveys show that energy savings of 30-40% are achievable by optimizing the usage of stores, repairing current equipment and retrofitting with energy efficient-equipment. However, cold-store operators are often reluctant to install new equipment due to a lack of information. The main aim of ICE-E is to overcome these reservations, through a combination of knowledge-based information packages, mathematical models and education programmes, in order to assist cold-store operators to make informed decisions on equipment. An energy labelling scheme, other tools and educational packages will provide longer-term assistance. ICE-E partners include LSBU (London South Bank University), UK, KHLim, vzw Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg, Belgium, Danish Teknologisk Institut, Denmark, Cold Chain Experts, the Netherlands, Carbon Data Resources Ltd, UK, Energy Hills, Germany, VUPP, Czech Republic, University of Padova, Italy and TUS, Bulgaria.