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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


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Steam Distribution Systems

Useful Links

Energy-saving tips for boilers and steam can be found in Boilers and Heaters: Improving Energy Efficiency, published by the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEC).

“20 Ways to Save Energy Now”, available from the U.S. Department of Energy's Web site and directed to plant managers and engineers, contains an excellent energy-saving fact sheet for boilers and steam and offers links to case studies and technical information.

Canada's Federal Industrial Boiler Program (Energy Technology Applications Group) provides technical and management services to help private sector and government department clients purchase and operate energy-efficient boilers in Canada.

Comprehensive case studies, software tools and many useful tips on steam distribution system maintenance are available in the “Steam” section of the Best Practices Web site of the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program. Included on this site is an excellent booklet, Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, which covers all aspects of boilers and steam and has 25 steam tip sheets for improving energy efficiency.

Enbridge has a case study of Carleton University, which saved $100,000 over six months by cutting the steam pressure from 125 psi to 65 psi, and maintaining the steam traps.

Boiler purchasing advice, including a simple payback calculator, can be found in How to Buy an Energy-Efficient Commercial Boiler. This publication is offered by the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which promotes energy-efficient procurement for U.S. federal government buildings.

Web sites of manufacturers of boiler and parts are listed at

For a thorough treatment of boiler energy efficiency, consult the CIBO Energy Efficiency Handbook, published by the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners.

For information on residential boilers, consult ENERGY STAR® for information on equipment, sizing and installation, product quality, home and duct sealing, and recommendations on finding a good contractor. The Office of Energy Efficiency also offers information and a list of ENERGY STAR qualified residential models.

Software Tools

The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a number of steam system performance tools as part of its “BestPractices” steam program.

  • The Steam System Scoping Tool is a free spreadsheet program for energy managers and operations personnel to assess their steam systems against identified best practices. The Web site provides an e-mail address and other information on procuring this tool.

  • The Steam System Survey Guide from the United States Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program supplements the Steam System Scoping Tool. This guide provides a technical basis for identifying and assessing many potential steam system improvements.

  • The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) has a free insulation-thickness computer program called 3E Plus® Insulation Thickness Computer Program that can help select insulation. 3E Plus® allows the user to assess important insulation project factors such as energy savings, installation cost and payback for various insulation materials and thickness.

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