Two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Here’s one more: Energy prices will keep going up!
Energy use consumes between 30% and 35% of the average facility operating budget. When you factor fluctuating oil and natural gas prices, that percentage can change.
Reducing usage can help. But some companies create new problems when they slash energy use across the board.
For example: Lowering the thermostat too far can hurt productivity – so who comes out ahead there?
Here are two energy-management strategies that help drive costs down:
Energy-metering measures spikes and dips in usage throughout your facility. Some companies find that running one or more processes at peak demand hours drives up costs, so they’ll reschedule processes at non-peak-demand times.
Other facilities discover that certain pieces of equipment are inefficient and use more energy than necessary.
Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems can be a problem area. A common example is the wrong-sized fans.
Upgrades, repairs and adjustments can bring immediate savings. If your facility department doesn’t have the expertise to make those calls, consider bringing in a contractor to assess your HVAC system.
2. Regional demand response
Most utilities offer regional demand response programs where companies get rebates for reducing usage during peak hours.
If your facilities aren’t signed up, take a look at what incentives your utility offers.
Keep this caveat in mind: Reducing usage often means altering production. (A big issue for manufacturing and distribution sites.)
In some cases you call the shots, such as reducing lighting. But powering down equipment that other departments rely on can get tricky.
You’ll want everyone’s buy-in and alternative solutions – such as rescheduling jobs or running two jobs on the same equipment – so you can make it work.