Energy efficiency is the cleanest, quickest and most cost-effective way to extend today’s energy supply into the future. The efficient use of energy is not only a core value of the oil and natural gas industry, it’s also a daily practice. Energy efficiency helps energy companies manage costs, which in turn strengthens competitiveness and brings more affordable energy products to you—the consumer. Energy efficiency also helps improve the industry’s environmental performance, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with climate change. Efficient energy standards help maximize the energy resources Americans depend on for a high quality of life.
Today, we use about half as much energy for every dollar of GDP than we did in 1980. Through technologies like combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration—the reuse of excess heat from refinery processes to produce additional energy—refiners are becoming more efficient, reducing both energy use and emissions.
Cogeneration is a critical efficiency option for companies operating in the oil and natural gas sector. The cogeneration process uses steam and electricity produced at facilities and can simultaneously yield efficiency rates far greater than the separate generation of electricity and steam. Between 1990 and 2005, oil and natural gas industry cogeneration capacity grew by 68 percent. In fact, in 2006 alone, energy savings produced from efficiency tactics were equivalent to the gasoline consumed by more than 530,000 cars or the electricity used by 950,000 homes.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“The CHP system can produce the same electrical and thermal output at 75 percent fuel conversion efficiency as compared to 49 percent for separate heat and power. This is a 50 percent gain in overall efficiency, resulting in a 35 percent fuel savings.”