Energy Saving Guide For Manufacturers

How does cutting up to 20% of your manufacturing operation’s energy bills sound? 

Well, by applying just a few simple measures, you will see massive improvements to your energy efficiency, as well as saving some money.

At Energy Solutions, we are here to help our customers, by offering free advice on how to improve their energy efficiency.

These simple, inexpensive energy efficiency steps such as fixing leaks, cleaning refrigeration condensers and using variable-speed drives can go a long way. 

Here are some questions to monitor how your company uses energy:

  • Are you using heating and lights in unoccupied areas of your building?
  • Do you have old, lightly loaded or damaged machinery or appliances?
  • Is there a process in place to clean and monitor your equipment?
  • When there is no demand for air, are your compressor installations switched on?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then with our help, you will likely be able to save yourself a lot of money, all in an easy and simple way. 

Here are some statistics that may shock you:

  • Reducing a motors speed with a variable speed drive by just 20%, you’ll see a 50% reduction in energy consumption.
  • Heating is accountable for up to 12% or more of all the energy used in the manufacturing industry.
  • By simply tuning your boiler, you could see savings of £800 each year.

So, what steps can you make to save yourself some money and become more energy efficient? Let’s dive right in. 

Motor Tips

  • You should keep an eye on your motor systems and make sure they’re well maintained. This could be checking the alignment, belt tightness and lubricating when needed.
  • By installing variable-speed drives, you can reduce your running costs when they’re used for pumps and fans.
  • A good tip to saving money is by investing in high-efficiency motors. They may even quality for tax relief via the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme. They can help to decrease energy consumption levels which will reduce your businesses carbon footprint.

Heating Tips

  • If you want to keep your energy consumption down, then sorting out your heating could be a good place to start. Make sure to frequently monitor your thermostat and keep it set to the recommended climate.
  • A quick guide to thermostat temperatures are offices set to around 24ºC in the summer and 21ºC in the winter. Workshops should be set to around 16–19ºC.
  • If you have time switches, make sure to check they are working. Sometimes they could be faulty, turning your heating on during out of hours times. If your time switch is faulty, you could be burning energy that isn’t needed.
  • How often do you service your boiler? Well, if it isn’t 1-2 times a year then you could be missing out on big savings! Boilers are recommended to be serviced annually, saving you around 5% on annual heating bills

Refrigeration Tips

  • Did you know that having dirty refrigeration condensers may increase your costs by up to 26%? That could be enough motivation to clean your refrigeration condensers to keep the savings coming.
  • Simply checking your doors are sealed properly is an easy way to reduce energy waste. You can see an increase of up to 11% in power consumption through a faulty seal on the door. Double-check to keep those savings sealed.
  • Try to limit the amount of refrigerant charge you use. You can see an increase of over 10% in energy costs when too much is used.

Compressed Air Tips

  • When you’re not using your compressors, turn them off completely. When compressors are turned on, even when there is no demand can consume up to 70% of the full load power. To save, switch it off.
  • It could be a good idea to look into reducing the operating pressure of the compressed air you use. How about this, to save a huge 7% of energy consumption, you only need a 1-bar reduction. That is a very simple and easy way for you to save some energy.

Lighting Tips

  • You should encourage staff to only use lights when necessary. Leave posters near light switches to make employees more aware of how using lights can decrease energy efficiency and impact the environment. When there are reduced numbers of staff in, use lighting only in the areas that are needed, rather than lighting up the entire building. 
  • It should be made clear and obvious which lights are required to be left on and which lights should be turned off when they’re not needed. An example could be leaving on the reception lights, but turning off the canteen lights when there is less use.
  • Utilise the power of natural light. Rather than using power for lighting, if you have windows then use the sunlight to light up the room. Open the blinds to save some money.
  • Purchasing daylight sensors and time switches can be a great investment to save some money and reduce your energy usage. This removes the possibility of leaving lights on for long periods of time when they aren’t in use as they help to avoid leaving lights on. 

Insulation Tips

  • When it comes to insulation, you should check both the cold and hot pipework insulation. This also includes process ovens. Monitor their condition, ensuring there is no damage or wear. You should make repairs to any necessary parts.
  • You should also check to ensure valve flanges are insulated. For any that aren’t insulated, it is a wise decision to install jackets. You can see payback in under 12 months, so well worth the investment.
  • For process tanks, an easy way to reduce energy waste is to use lids. This is especially important out of hours. This can reduce losses that come through surface evaporation.

For more information about this post and how Energy Solutions can help with your Electricity, Gas, or Water, click on the links, or check out the contact details at the bottom of the page.