Go to content

Installing a new compressed air system to optimise operating costs

Craft Industry
Agriculture, viticulture
Aid and care sector
[ Main measure ]
Last update: 11/10/2023
  • Available tools
  • Possibility of assistance
  • Subsidies available

To make this measure more effective and tailored to the specific context of your company, we recommend that you first perform an overall analysis of your energy situation.

Compressed air: an energy carrier that needs optimising in numerous sectors

Compressed air is an energy carrier that is frequently used in many sectors, particularly in the use of production machinery and specific pneumatic tools. Despite its abundant use, it is a complex medium to control, resulting in high operating costs. In an unmonitored installation, up to 90% can be lost in production (heat) and distribution (leaks). Compressed air costs can be contained by regularly analysing energy requirements and through technological monitoring. This measure should be applied when the analysis requires a new compressed air installation.

Defining the requirements for the installation of a new compressed air system

Analysis of the current situation

  • Determine the parameters of the existing installation, e.g. age, general condition, pressure level, minimum and maximum flow rate, energy consumption and associated costs, etc.

Analysis of compressed air requirements

  • Given the considerable cost of using compressed air, it is recommended that, before any modifications are made, you determine whether compressed air is indeed the most suitable method for carrying out this task.
  • Define the main characteristics of the compressed air consumption requirement, e.g. pressure level, flow rate, humidity, etc.
  • If possible, reduce network pressure according to compressed air requirements (temporary reduction possible depending on requirements)
  • Identify and eliminate any potential leaks in the existing system (this will enable you to estimate compressed air requirements more accurately and avoid over-sizing the new installation).

Taking your compressed air system installation project one step further

  • The main tasks of a design office (consulting engineer in technical engineering) in the context of the creation of a new compressed air system are as follows:
    • definition of requirements based on the current situation
    • identification of potential end users for the wasted heat, e.g. pre-heating of domestic hot water or space heating.

Identify the appropriate compressed air installation to suit the particular purpose.

  • Definition of the solution adapted to the needs and the specific application
    • Based on the needs analysis, define the solution in collaboration with a supplier or a design office (technical engineering consultant).
    • In addition to the primary requirement, consider heat recovery, the installation of measuring points to monitor the installation and the compatibility of the existing network with the new compressor
  • Evaluate other measures to improve system efficiency:
    • Automatic shutdown of the compressed air network outside operating hours
    • Installation of pressure-reducing valves upstream of consumers with low pressure requirements
    • Disconnection of consumers using magnetic valves
    • etc.
  • Verification of operating permits for the project
    Where existing installations are to be adapted, and especially when setting up new installations, check the nomenclature of classified establishments.
  • Drawing up specifications and requesting tenders

Subsidy application

Government subsidies

Notice: the subsidy application must comply with the “incentive effect”
In order to respect the “incentive effect”, no binding commitment (signing a quotation; paying a deposit) may be made BEFORE submitting the application file or receiving the agreement in principle from the government or the electricity and natural gas supplier following an application for subsidy.

  • SME Packages – Sustainability
    • Flat-rate subsidy of €5,000 for small and medium-sized businesses for projects to reduce their environmental impact, costing between €6,650 and €25,000 excluding VAT.
    • For more information:

N.B. Government subsidies cannot be combined for the same project.

Applying for subsidies from electricity and natural gas suppliers

As of 2015, natural gas and electricity suppliers have been required to make energy savings for consumers as part of the obligation mechanism. Since then, energy suppliers have been offering support and advice services as well as subsidy programmes for consumers to implement energy efficiency measures.
The following suppliers offer this service to businesses:

Once the compressed air system has been installed

  • Schedule maintenance and periodic inspection of the system
  • Régulièrement contrôler l’étanchéité du système d’air comprimé (par ex. tous les deux ans et lors de modifications sur le système d’air comprimé

Implementation aid

Contact us

I would like more information on:

  • Fit 4 Sustainability
  • Government subsidies
  • Support
  • Identifying partners

I would like more information on:

  • Klimabonus subsidies or photovoltaic and electromobility subsidy programmes
  • A technical aspect of the measure
  • A specific tool
  • A technical aspect of the site (404 link, etc.)

Contact Klima-Agence