Manufacturing businesses often have extremely high energy bills due to the constant use of equipment and the need for proper heating, cooling, and lighting to keep operations running smoothly. But, there are still ways to significantly reduce energy use in manufacturing businesses, cutting running costs whilst doing your bit to respond to climate change too.
For manufacturing businesses the main area of energy use is likely to come from equipment and appliances, which are often running constantly and are key to the operations of the business. Alongside this, many manufacturing businesses will also need heating or cooling to maintain their products or equipment, as well as good lighting to ensure safety in the workshop. All of this uses significant amounts of energy – and that’s before you even consider the energy wasted due to the fabric of the building.
So what kind of energy efficiency measures and actions should manufacturing businesses be thinking about? Below we outline three key areas to consider, but it’s important to note that recommendations will vary for every business and building – we’d recommend taking Energy Solutions Oxfordshire’s online survey to get a free desktop diagnosis report for your organisation to find out more.
Reducing the energy use of equipment
As we’ve mentioned, high-energy using equipment and appliances are likely to be responsible for much of the energy use in a manufacturing business – but it’s likely that this energy use could be reduced.
The first action to take is to ensure that equipment is being switched off when it is not in use. Even idle machinery will use energy, and where there is a lot of equipment in use this could add up to a substantial amount of wasted energy. This may be about ensuring employees are conscious of energy use when working in the space, whether through regular communication or through putting up posters as reminders to switch equipment off when they leave the area.
It’s also worth checking what existing settings and controls each piece of equipment has to allow this to be automated – often machinery will allow you to program it to turn off after a period of time. You could also install controls if they do not already exist. Items such as Variable Speed Drivers can be installed on motors to increase control over the speed of the motor, resulting in high energy savings. If you have refrigeration units, check that door seals are in good condition to improve the efficiency of the equipment and reduce wasted energy.
Beyond the existing equipment, manufacturing businesses could also consider replacing equipment with more energy efficient items – particularly motors and refrigeration units, which are large users of energy.
Energy efficient lighting
It’s usually very important for manufacturing facilities and workshops to be well-lit to ensure the safety of those using the equipment – especially if there is a lack of windows and natural light. Often this leads to a large number of lights, which can use a lot of energy if they are on much of the time.
This can easily be reduced by replacing traditional light bulbs with much more energy-efficient LED light bulbs. They use much less energy and last a lot longer too.
As with manufacturing equipment, it’s also worth ensuring lighting is always switched off when not in use. Installing automated systems which turn lights off when movement is not detected in an area can help with this.
Consider solar panels
Manufacturing businesses often operate in workshop or warehouse-style buildings, which tend can have large roofs which lend themselves to solar PV rooftop panels – if the rooftop is also south facing.
Solar panels allow you to use the sun’s energy to generate renewable electricity, which you could then use to power your business. This would save you money on energy bills whilst also greatly reduce the environmental impact of the business. If you don’t need all of the electricity that you generate, you could even sell any excess back to the grid and create a small additional stream of income for the business.
Find out what’s possible for your workplace
If you work at a manufacturing business based in Oxfordshire, we recommend getting in touch with Energy Solutions Oxfordshire to find out what the opportunities are for making energy savings in your premises.
Energy Solutions Oxfordshire is a complete energy efficiency service helping organisations to stop wasting energy – making cost and carbon savings. Get started by filling out their short online survey about your buildings and existing energy usage to get a free Desktop Diagnosis Report for your organisation.
Contact us be email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the website to find out more and get started by filling in a short online survey to receive a free desktop diagnosis report for your organisation www.energysolutionsoxfordshire.org
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