Any smart business knows that saving money is a key factor in a company’s success. One often overlooked way industrial businesses can save money is through energy conservation. Making small but meaningful changes in energy usage adds up to significant money savings over time. Money that a business can save on energy costs can be put to better use elsewhere in the organization. Since energy usage is something that many companies take for granted, a business owner might not know how to begin conserving energy. However, saving energy is not as difficult as it may seem. There are many changes that can be made that seem so minor no one in the organization will feel the least bit affected by it. Following are seven industrial energy saving ideas to get companies started on the right track.
1. Know what your expenses are
The first step in saving money on your energy costs is knowing what your biggest expenditures are. Reliable Plant suggests having an energy audit completed. The audit will help business owners understand how their facility is using energy and what improvements can be made to lessen their impact on the environment as well as save money with better energy-conserving practices.
The lighting in an office, warehouse, plant, or other industrial facilities can consume a lot of energy. It is far too easy to leave any indoor space and forget to turn the lights off. It does not take long for that wasted energy to add up to lost money for any facility. Switching out incandescent bulbs for new energy-efficient bulbs is a great first step for energy conservation and saving money. Installing motion sensor light switches is a great way to ensure lights are not left on unnecessarily. These switches are inexpensive and easy to find. The initial investment of these small changes will be recouped almost immediately in the form of lower energy bills.
3. Evaluate motors and drives
Electric motors and drives take up a significant percentage of the total amount of energy that is consumed by an industrial plant or facility. However, the percentage does not need to be that high. Replacing old and inefficient motors with new energy-efficient ones can produce an immediate effect that will be easily recognizable by lower energy costs.
4. Control heating and cooling costs
Temperature control in the workplace is often the bane of every worker’s existence. However, the reality, it is an issue that is even more concerning for a business owner who needs to worry about energy conservation and the high cost of energy usage. Heating and cooling costs can account for approximately 30 percent of the energy costs for a facility. The daily decisions that are made regarding the appropriate temperature in a work space have a great impact on the total amount of energy used. So, making smart decisions about the heating and cooling of a facility is a key factor in energy conservation and money savings. Also, adding a drive control system to the HVAC system can help a business save as much as 25 percent on the heating and cooling costs.
5. Utilizing a control system
Installing a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) is a great way for any industrial business owner to monitor the facility’s energy usage. BEMS also help businesses improve plant control and optimize operating times. Installing an energy management system in the building can help a business save up to 30% on its energy costs by assuring the plant is not running overnight, on weekends, or any other non-business hours. These systems can also help assure the HVAC system is not running when people are not in the facility.
Refrigeration costs can be astronomical for an industrial business. However, there are some steps a business can take to reduce the energy costs associated with it. Regularly maintain components such as coils, fans and seals. Check temperature settings to make sure they are not too low. Keep refrigeration system out of direct sunlight. Install a variable speed drive. Run defrost system at night
7. Monitor the facility’s energy usage
Every business owner and plant manager should understand how a facility uses energy. Constantly monitoring and keeping accurate records of energy usage in the facility can help those who are in charge to know how efficiently the plant is running and when improvements need to be made. Plant managers should not just rely on an “eye test” to know how the plant is running. Using an energy monitoring system can help keep an entire facility on its toes.
Remaining vigilant, making a few small changes and monitoring the energy usage of the facility can help a business stay ahead of the curve and save money as well as energy. For more information regarding energy conservation for industrial businesses, contact a professional energy auditor to schedule an audit.
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