Industrial and manufacturing facilities are an important part of our economy. The type of work and equipment used, however, can often be the largest energy consumer. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, industrial energy use is responsible for almost 30% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. But being a large energy user means manufacturers also have the most to gain from reducing their use. Fortunately, energy efficiency is a natural step for any manufacturer ensuring quality control and eliminating waste in the production process. Many newer technologies and equipment, while big energy users, offer settings that can make it easy to reduce waste and power when not in use. Reducing energy waste just makes good business – and energy – sense. Here are the ways that manufacturing and industrial facilities can become more energy efficient:
- Improve the Efficiency of All Motors and Motor-Driven Systems An efficient motor lowers the cost of running motor-driven equipment. Improving motor efficiency will ultimately lower operating costs and make your business more competitive. Regular motor maintenance is also important to increase a motor’s life and keep it working safely. When existing motors are retired, look for energy efficient replacements that will eventually save you money.
- Install High Efficiency Lighting Replacing your facility’s lighting with more efficient systems will not only lower your costs, but also improve the quality of your lighting. Be sure to utilize sunlight coming through any windows by thinking of it as free daytime light. Plus, studies show workers are more productive when exposed to sunlight.
- Upgrade Heating, Ventilating and Cooling Systems Installing higher-efficiency HVAC equipment can provide significant savings and reduction in waste. With new systems offering more effective computer controls for setting how and when your equipment is used, it makes sense to use heating and cooling efficiently. Ensuring your HVAC output is reduced on weekends, nights or other off hours is an easy way to improve your overall plant and office energy use.
- Reduce Water Use with Efficient Equipment While it’s not always obvious, water usage means energy usage. Reducing and conserving water means less energy is needed to pump, heat or chill water. By installing newer water-reduction equipment and examining your manufacturing process for ways to reduce or reuse water, your facility’s water and energy bills can benefit.
- Measure and Track Energy PerformanceNo matter the type of steps you take to reduce your energy use, the best way to maximize energy savings and benefits is by establishing a comprehensive energy management program. Some businesses may have a dedicated person to take on this role, while others can find easy online resources to conduct themselves. Either way, there are many simple ways to monitor your facility’s use, emissions and waste.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency