Both globalization and protectionism forces — with varying impacts in different regions of the world — are creating instability and uncertainty about the future cost of energy in all regions. For instance, U.S. energy prices have seen a dramatic change over the past couple of years. While the current pricing is an advantage for companies using thermal processing technologies, with global energy use set to increase and the potential for artificial methods of controlling supply, it is possible that a swing back to higher pricing may occur in the future. This will ultimately impact the ongoing profitability of businesses, especially those in the energy-intensive process industries.
Because energy use can total 10 percent or more of the entire cost of running a process in energy-intensive industries, process heating equipment users must optimize energy use in existing processes. Ultimately, this can help reduce the overall cost of energy and minimize the impact of any future increases in energy costs.