Article Promotes Insulating Steam and Hot Water Pipes to Save Energy

An article in a recent Insulation Outlook, the magazine of the National Insulation Association, examines the “many opportunities” that exist for energy savings in institutional buildings that use district heating systems.

The article notes that typically, “there are many heat distribution pipe components left either uninsulated or partially insulated. If you can walk into a mechanical or boiler room and see bare steel on operational heat distribution pipe and equipment components, then thermal energy is being wasted.”

As MIIP has constantly and consistently maintained in its messages, the article states: “This thermal energy waste can be corrected simply by insulating those bare components.”

The article sites a study that found insulating these components has been predicted to comprise 8 percent of buildings’ total fuel use for heating. “Payback periods of less than 1 year, and even as short as several months, are common when insulating these previously bare components,” the study found.

As the article concludes, MIIP also recommends that mechanical designers and facility owners/operators survey their mechanical rooms and boiler rooms for bare pipe components and equipment. Just as the study’s author states, MIIP recommends using removable/reusable insulation blankets for these components.

Click here to read the article: Saving Energy by Insulating Pipe Components on Steam and Hot Water Distribution Systems


U.S. Congressman Speaks on Advantages of Mechanical Insulation

On May 16, Republican U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo of Illinois, speaking on the House floor in support of energy efficient buildings, the money they can save, and the manufacturing jobs that energy efficiency initiatives can create, encouraged his colleagues to consider supporting HR 2866, the “Mechanical Insulation Installation Incentive Act of 2011.”

Manzullo said HR 2866 is a common sense bill that will save money, improve facility operations, put people to work, and help our buildings perform to a higher standard.

To view Manzullo’s speech, click here.

As Manzullo touched upon, one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to improve building performance is to ensure that mechanical insulation systems are properly installed. Improved insulation for piping and mechanical components in commercial and industrial settings will help business save more than $4.8 billion a year, according to the National Insulation Association. These improvements will also save resources to the tune of more than 82 million barrels of oil, or 19 million tons of coal.


T-Tubes Technology Provide Additional Benefits in Mechanical Insulation

Many member contractors with Mechanical Insulation Industry Professionals are realizing the benefits of T-Tubes, which is an advanced tube-and-pipe insulation system specifically developed for process lines and equipment in cleanroom environments. MIIP contractors are becoming educated in its best use and installation to best serve our customers by providing this option for mechanical insulation.

T-Tubes save time and money while doing an exceptional job, MIIP contractors are discovering, because they require no jacketing and have a temperature range of -112°F to 320°F (-80°C to 160°C). With a wall thickness of only 1/4 inches, they also save space and allow for insulating areas that cannot be covered using existing methods.

T-Tubes are the only insulation in the world that is compliant with Factory Mutual (FM) Approvals 4910 standard for cleanroom materials. They have also successfully completed FM’s 4924 Pipe Chase Flammability Test. Click here to see the technical data.

With a focus on the safety, cost and environmental benefits of mechanical insulation, MIIP sees T-Tubes as a true solution for many applications. Importantly, they provide critical protection for personnel working around hot processing lines in the biotechnology, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetics and food and beverage industries.

D.C. Mechanical Insulation Industry Showcase A Positive Exhibition of M.I. Benefits

Back in October, the insulation industry proponents and members held the first-ever Mechanical Insulation Industry Showcase in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Showcase participants illustrated the functions and benefits of mechanical insulation, and Mechanical Insulation Design Guide Simple Calculators demonstrated how easily mechanical insulation’s benefits can be quantified, as the Mechanical Insulation Industry Professionals consistently tout.

The Showcase was sponsored by House Manufacturing Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Don Manzullo (R-IL) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), also original cosponsors of the Mechanical Insulation Installation Incentive Act (HR2866/SB1526), the passage of which MIIP fully supports.

After his introduction, Rep. Manzullo praised HR2866 and the Montana Insulation Assessment Pilot Program. He pointed out that the bill will “help the commercial and industrial sectors invest in mechanical insulation and create much-needed jobs in one of the hardest-hit industries.”

HR2866/SB1526 would create up to a 30 percent tax deduction to encourage commercial and industrial entities — like manufacturing facilities, office buildings, schools, hospitals, power plants, hotels, and universities — to go beyond minimum mechanical insulation requirements in new construction and retrofit projects and increase their maintenance activities.

Conservative estimates indicate that over a 5-year implementation period, this legislation could save $35 billion, reduce 170 million metric tons of CO2, and create more than 25,000 jobs for skilled craftsmen in all 50 states within weeks or months, not years. While similar incentives have been developed for walls, roofing, windows, lighting, and other energy efficiency options, there are no existing tax incentives tailored for mechanical insulation.

For more information about the Mechanical Insulation Installation Incentive Act, visit


Major Energy Efficiency Gains, Annual Returns, Job Creation Possible With Greater Use Of Mechanical Insulation

The National Insulation Association (NIA), a not-for-profit trade association, has released more evidence on the advantages of Mechanical Insulation that the Mechanical Insulation Industry Professionals have long touted … “Even a modest increase in the use of energy-efficient mechanical insulation would allow the United States to quickly generate significant energy demand reductions in the industrial sector, create tens of thousands of green jobs, and help cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the (NIA).

The NIA report states that it and its partners estimate that mechanical insulation could deliver annually $3.7 billion in energy savings and reduce 37.9 million metric tons of carbon emissions, with a return on investment in 11.3 months (106 percent annual return) from simple maintenance of mechanical insulation in industrial/manufacturing plants.

NIA estimated this maintenance work would create over 27,000 jobs per year for insulation contractors, of which 90 to 95 percent are small businesses, in all 50 states. Those 27,000 jobs support other industry channels with job opportunities of more than 13,000, bringing the total job creation opportunity to 40,000. NIA also noted that 95 percent of materials required for these opportunities are made in the United States.

MIIP agrees that these findings once again confirm that mechanical insulation is truly an overlooked and undervalued technology. The report also bolster’s MIIP support for the passage of U.S. House Resolution 2866 and U.S. Senate Bill 1526, “Mechanical Insulation Installation Incentive Act of 2011,” to amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow additional tax deductions for the cost of installing mechanical insulation. (Check out the MIIP blog post on these bills.)

The data for the study was collected from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now program, which MIIP notes provides many case studies that support the use of mechanical insulation.

National Mechanical Insulation Committee Energy Calculator Shows Savings

Is its Mechanical Insulation Design Guide, the National Mechanical Insulation Committee (NMIC) presents a calculator that estimates the performance of an insulated horizontal piping system given the operating temperature, the ambient temperature, and other details about the system.

Sample results show drastic drops in heat loss and tremendous savings with payback of installation costs in as little as 5 months.

To check out the calculator, click here.

SAMPLE Results
Surface Temp
Heat Loss
Cost of Fuel
Installed Cost
Annual Return CO2Emissions
0 349 1443 $116.87 $0.00 NA NA 0.8
1 93 95 $7.71 $21.42 2 510% 0.05
1.5 87 70 $5.67 $25.04 3 444% 0.04
2 84 58 $4.68 $28.87 3 389% 0.03
2.5 82 50 $4.05 $32.86 3 343% 0.03
3 81 45 $3.62 $36.86 4 307% 0.02
3.5 80 40 $3.27 $43.49 5 261% 0.02
4 80 37 $3.03 $48.01 5 237% 0.02

Colleges Can Do More to Be Green, Save Money: INSULATE

Colleges all over the Northeast have Sustainability Offices now … and it is a great effort in helping these campuses map out a green and sustainable energy future.

There is no doubting that these offices have been able to get their respective colleges on the road to meeting earth-friendly goals — and even, perhaps, score higher marks on The College Sustainability Report Card.

But, for example, Brown University was one of only seven schools to earn an “A” on their Sustainability Report Card … the school’s successful efforts were accomplished in large part because Brown requires that new construction must meet LEED Silver standards, at a minimum, and the school has conducted several adaptive re-use projects. For the report on Brown’s efforts, click here.

To improve these scores, colleges need to implement — at the behest of their students and sustainability offices — construction requirements in which INSULATION must be a key component to realize true energy and cost savings … because the sustainability advantages of mechanical insulation are many. Research proves that there is no better or quicker return-on-investment than that from insulation in construction and there is nothing greener than insulating!

For research data on the many environmental and budget advantages of mechanical insulation, click here.

Free 3-E Energy Audits Save Money By Identifying Proper Insulation Needs

Mechanical Insulation Industry Professionals contractors use cutting-edge 3E Plus Program software that enables customers to see the many benefits that can be attained through proper insulation. This audit can help you make sure your facility is properly insulated — so you can SAVE ENERGY & MONEY with a 3E Insulation Energy Audit.

MIIP incorporates the 3E Appraisal Process to calculate the need for insulation installation, upgrade or maintenance – helping customers recognize potential cost savings of operating their systems with the proper insulation upgrades. Contact MIIP to receive a free audit!

3E Plus is used to effectively calculate the necessary thickness of insulation based on Return On Investment (P.O.I.), installation costs, tax rates and maintenance. With this tool, MIIP is able to provide customers with exceptional R.O.I. because proper installation of mechanical insulation systems provides quicker return than nearly any other energy efficiency investment.

Importantly, the 3-E Plus Program addresses the use of mechanical insulation in new construction and existing systems for all industrial, commercial, medical, educational and residential uses. Even in the U.S. Congress, legislation exists that would provide a tax incentive for the installation and maintenance of mechanical insulation.

U.S. House Resolution 2866 and U.S. Senate Bill 1526, “Mechanical Insulation Installation Incentive Act of 2011,” propose to amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow the additional tax deduction for the cost of installing mechanical insulation. MIIP fully supports these bills — and the use of free 3-E energy audits.


State of Montana Institutes Public Buildings Energy-Saving Program

With insulation as a key component, the Montana State Buildings Energy Conservation (SBEC) Program reduces operating costs in state facilities, including Montana universities and community colleges. Cost effective energy efficiency projects in state-owned buildings are identified, investigated and funded. Annual energy savings are anticipated to be nearly $2 million and 430,000 MMBTU.

MIIP believes a similar program should be adopted by New England-region states, in which public funds are tight and simple, environmentally friendly ways of saving money need to be instituted. MIIP knows that insulation is the one system of any building that starts paying for itself once it is implemented.

In the Montana state program, the resulting energy savings are captured and used to repay the investment. Montana will expand this existing program and fund about 60 projects identified through energy audits and approved by the 2009 Montana Legislature. Data on energy use will be collected before and after the energy conservation building retrofits.

For more information, click here.

The Value of Insulation: Goodyear Saves Money with Insulation

A recent U.S. Department of Energy report shows that a Goodyear Tire plant in Tennessee saved $875,000 in energy costs and reduced natural gas consumption implementing a program that greatly incorporated improved insulation – supporting a basic but vital fact that the Mechanical Insulation Industry Professionals strongly supports: Mechanical insulation saves money!

“Once the insulation project is completed, the company will have reduced its natural gas use by 93,000 MMBtu and No. 6 fuel oil consumption by 224,000 gallons—for a total annual savings of more than 127,000 MMBtu and nearly $875,000 in energy cost savings.”

Interestingly, Goodyear chose to implement an opportunity out of several that would yield the greatest energy savings – the plan that included insulation. The report says that the plant improved its boiler operation and load management strategy and then insulated their process equipment.

Check out the report on the MIIP Research page.