Innovative Energy Consultancy Ltd
Innovative Energy Consultancy Ltd

Brace’s Bakery

Industry Food manufacturing

Service Energy efficiency consultancy, CCL Scheme management, Invoice validation, electricity purchasing

Result Year-on-year reduction in electricity, gas and water usage in line with production output

About Brace’s Bakery

Founded in 1900, Brace’s is a £36m-turnover family business which supplies bread and morning goods to some 3,000 stores, including the major supermarkets. The company operates three bakeries in South Wales producing bread, morning goods and Welsh cakes for the Wales and South West market.

The project brief

IEC was contracted by the Carbon Trust to work with Brace’s at their Pen-y-fan site shortly after it opened in 2004. Although the Carbon Trust no longer provides funding, Brace’s continues to work with IEC to ensure energy consumption and cost is kept to a minimum. IEC visits Brace’s on a monthly basis and assists the Brace’s Energy Team with specialist knowledge in implementing a continual programme of energy efficiency measures.

The main issue facing Brace’s was the cost of running their large oven at their Pen-y-fan site. The Brace’s team wanted to find out whether it would be more efficient to maintain or lower the temperature of the oven depending upon the amount of loaves being baked. IEC worked out the advantages and disadvantages of different scenarios for heating the oven, enabling Brace’s to decide that a reduction in temperature, triggered by a temporarily lull in production over a set period of time, would deliver cost savings while remaining operationally feasible.

Other key programmes have included:

  • Installation of a voltage optimisation system to improve electricity consumption
  • A programme of replacing existing lighting with new energy efficient lighting
  • Efficient operation of the oven at the Pen-y-fan bakery
  • The installation of smart controls on conveyors so that energy use mirrors production output
  • Installation of heat recovery system from the existing air compressors to reduce heating costs
  • A reduction in water charges through identifying a major leak and implementation of monitoring controls
  • Management of the company’s involvement in the Climate Change Levy Agreement Scheme, which enables Brace’s to claim a rebate on energy tax, based on achieving energy consumption reduction targets.

Richard Mynott, Executive General Manager at Brace’s Bakery, said:

“The cost of energy means it’s now more important than ever for businesses such as ours to focus on reducing consumption where possible. IEC has helped us to improve our operational procedures to ensure we’re energy efficient and their continued involvement means the subject is always high on our agenda.”