It takes a lot of energy to keep an industrial business operating smoothly. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the manufacturing industry spends $200 billion on energy alone, almost a third of which ends up as wasted energy. Inefficient energy usage is not only bad for the environment, but can also negatively impact a company’s bottom line.
In honor of this year’s National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, celebrated every year on January 10, take the time to reassess your energy usage practices and identify areas for savings. Check out our top 10 energy-saving tips to get started:
- Develop a plan that outlines your energy usage goals and concerns. Plans should outline metrics for specific departments, as well as for the facility as a whole.
- Identify areas in which your facilities are wasting energy. Over time, issues like air compressor leaks can end up resulting in a massive amount of wasted energy and money.
- Put together an administrative energy management team, or train a single individual to monitor energy usage.
- Organize regular energy audits. Hiring a specialist is generally considered the best method for these inspections, but audits can also be done in-house using an energy guidebook.
- When buying new equipment, consider purchasing new instead of used. Although used equipment tends to have a lower price tag, it can end up costing you in the future, as older items may have design issues that could result in wasted energy. Furthermore, used equipment may be sufficient for your needs, but it may not be ideal, and this can lead to wasted energy.
- Review your machinery usage hours, and create a strategic schedule that outlines when machines are used. Avoid using machines requiring heavy energy usage during peak hours, when energy costs are higher.
- Using this timetable, identify the times available for scheduling a production floor shutdown, in which every machine is powered off. This can be done during non-production times, such as on the weekends, and can significantly lower your energy costs.
- Assess your HVAC system, and determine if it needs an upgrade. A programmable thermostat or Internet of Things (IoT)-powered device can help identify inefficiencies and, if programmed to do so, can sometimes even address the problem automatically.
- Invest in either compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs or LED lights, and use them to replace all existing lightbulbs. This will help you save in energy costs, as CFL and LED bulbs consume far less energy than other bulbs, while also increasing the life spans of your fixtures.
- Make like Superman, and get your energy from the sun! Unlike Superman, though, your facility will need to use solar panels to do so. Solar panels do have a high upfront cost, but they allow for a major payoff in the long run. According to data aggregated by EnergySage, a company dedicated to connecting solar energy providers with customers, companies that invest in solar energy can save up to 75% on their energy bills.
If energy usage is draining your capital, it’s time to make a new resolution, one that you can stick to. Use these tips as a springboard, and start the year off right.
Image Credit: patpitchaya / Shutterstock.com