Manufacturing is an electricity-intensive industry, inevitably resulting in higher energy costs. While business energy is essential, there are several ways that costs can be kept down to help maximise profits.
If you’re looking for business energy solutions then there are several small operational changes you can make that could deliver big results. For example, did you know that if you reduce a motor’s speed by 20% with a variable speed drive, its energy consumption could drop by as much as 50%? Similarly, by tuning your boiler so it runs at optimum efficiency, you could save over Â£800 per year.
Other tips include:
About 12% of all the energy consumed by the manufacturing industry is used for heating buildings. Rather than waste energy, check your time switches regularly and ensure that the heating is off out of hours.
When it comes to motors, efficiency is everything. Maintain all motor systems, ensuring that they’re lubricated where necessary, as well as checking belt tightness and alignment to ensure they run as well as possible. Investing in high-efficiency motors could also help you to reduce your energy consumption. These might also qualify you for tax relief through the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme, helping to cover the cost of installation.
Machinery that’s kept on when not in use is a major drain on electricity. If a compressor installation is left on, despite not being needed, it will still consume 20-70% of its full load power. Reducing the operating pressure could also save you money, as a 1-bar reduction could save about 7% of the energy required for compression.
For optimum efficiency, maintain door seals, as a faulty one could increase the refrigeration unit’s power consumption by as much as 11%. Clean the condensers regularly – dirty condensers can increase costs by around 26%.
Ensure you’re staff are kept informed of the need to turn off lights when they’re not in use, or those in unoccupied areas. Opening window blinds during daylight hours will also enable you to make the best use of natural light. In the long term it may be worth considering installing motion-sensitive lighting that turns off automatically when a room is not in use.
Well-maintained insulation is essential. Check the insulation on hot and cold pipework, as well as process ovens. Valve flanges should also be insulated with jackets.