How industrial firms can cut their energy consumption

In commercial and industrial buildings, as in the home, monitoring your energy usage is the first step to taking control of your energy bills.

Once you know which systems in your facility use the most energy, it makes it much easier to understand where savings could be made, explains lighting consultant Daisy Energy in a recent article.

However, there are many things that can be done -- with or without an energy audit -- to reduce the energy consumption of your business.

Here are eight top tips:

1. Changing shifts to avoid peak energy costs: If your energy provider offers variable rates, find out when the highest and lowest charges apply and think about adjusting employee shifts and machine operating times to off-peak hours.

Similarly, demand side response incentivises a business to reduce consumption or switch to on-site energy generation resources in response to signals when demand on the grid is at its highest.

2. Daylighting: Using skylights and windows to bring natural light into your building can reduce the need for artificial lighting, and the latest energy efficient windows won't cause heating or cooling issues.

In existing structures, adding windows to the North-facing wall of your building will provide relatively even light, with little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain, Daisy Energy says.

3. Lighting controls and energy-efficient lighting: With energy consumption from lighting ranging from 35-75% of a business's total energy usage, using lighting controls such as dimmers, motion sensors, occupancy sensors, photosensors and timers can have a big impact on costs and extend the life of your lighting.

Switching to LED lighting is another sure-fire way to cut energy costs as it uses at least 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.

4. Building recommissioning: This involves investigating, analysing and optimising the performance of equipment and building systems to ensure they are at optimal operating capacity.

According to Industrial Controls, studies show that this process can lead to reductions of 10-15% in annual energy costs.

5. Reduce the load put on the HVAC system: Make sure air vents are clear of obstructions, and properly seal doors, windows and roofs. A programmable thermostat allows you to program automatic adjustments in temperature in different areas at different times, to ensure no air is being circulated in unoccupied areas. Re-directing waste heat from the factory floor to heat water and warm spaces also decreases the load on the HVAC system and increases energy efficiency.

6. Service compressors and motors to keep everything running efficiently.

7. Turn off equipment not in use.

8. Motivate all employees to take responsibility for energy savings: Invite workers to contribute energy saving ideas; recognise those who reduce their consumption; and educate all employees about new energy-saving equipment, sensors and practices.

To enquire about an industrial energy management software and view some more case studies, click HERE.


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