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7 Ways Manufacturers Can Reduce Industrial Energy Consumption

Wants and needs are limitless, but resources, sadly, are not. With the demand for energy expected to expand by 55% between 2005 and 2030, it’s clear that our ever-increasing demand for fossil fuels is now a bigger problem than ever. In the midst of the global warming crisis, resources such as oil, gas, and coal are even more dangerous to use, and a lot of responsible companies are trying to find ways to reduce their energy consumption. If not for the sake of the planet, then for the sake of cutting costs. 

Regardless of which type of manufacturing business your company does, there are certainly ways to reduce your energy consumption. All it takes is a little planning and organization, but we’re here to help you figure out how to do it. For tips on how to reduce energy use in your business, read on. 

Become aware of how much you’re spending.

You need to monitor and evaluate energy usage in your company before you start reducing consumption. Surprisingly, a large number of companies don’t seem to track their energy expenditure. Either they lack the skills or incentive to do it. This puts them at a major disadvantage – after all, how can you optimize expenditure if you’re not even aware of what you spend energy on. 

Start monitoring everything in your facility, and you’ll be able to allocate resources better and cut costs where you need to. 

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Stop using old equipment.

This is particularly important for factories and oilfields, where businesses often stick to using outdated equipment in an attempt to save some money. In truth, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot because old machinery tends to be more wasteful than new, advanced versions. Updating everything in your facilities is important because it will save you a lot of money in the long run, especially because most new machine models are made with better energy consumption in mind. 

For example, updated oilfield equipment could help oil workers extract the resources faster and smoother, lowering the environmental impact and reducing energy consumption in the process. The same goes for any other type of equipment – from office printers to pumps, welders, soldering equipment, cranes, conveyors, or hydraulic equipment. 

Maintain your equipment.

Speaking of equipment, it needs to be well-maintained at all times. Workers often tend to get lazy when it comes to cleaning, oiling, and general machinery maintenance, so you need to have your supervisors remind them that this isn’t optional. The same goes for electrical equipment – well cared for machines and equipment will run longer and smoother than those you leave to rust and fall apart from misuse.

Switch to automated lighting.

Turning off the light in the rooms you’re no longer using seems like a small thing, but it can save a lot of cash in the long run. You can encourage employees to turn off the lights when exiting a room, but given that they’re only human, they’re likely to forget about it frequently. 

The easiest way to resolve this are automated lighting systems. If you install special motion detect sensors, the lights will only turn on when someone occupies the room and turns off when there’s no longer any movement present. 

Another thing you should consider are LED lights. LEDs waste a lot less energy than fluorescent bulbs, and they tend to cause less eye strain for the workers. Switching out all of your light installations for LEDs will reduce your energy consumption by a notable amount. 

Update your heating and cooling systems.

Old, rundown heating and cooling systems will practically chew their way through your electric bill. Upgrading to new systems is another way to reduce energy usage, and keeping up with the maintenance will also help. You can also optimize the general room temperature in the building, based on the season you’re in. Keep the temperature around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) to make sure everyone is comfortable and discourage huge jumps in the building’s temperature. 

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Use the right insulation.

Insulation prevents heat loss in winter and keeps the building cool during the summer. If you insulate your facilities well, you’ll be able to cut down on electricity for heating and cooling systems, so the whole place can be more energy-efficient. 

Insulation all over the building should also be checked regularly to ensure there aren’t any leaks that are causing you to waste more energy than you’re aware of. 

Educate your employees.

In general, simply saying there’s a new rule in the company won’t necessarily translate into your employees following it immediately, especially if they don’t understand why they’re doing it. Energy-efficient measures shouldn’t just come from the top down – everyone needs to participate. 

Talk to your workers openly and tell them what kind of measures you intend to implement and why then teach them how to be responsible themselves. For example, for decades, large industries have been operating on decades-long business models based on unlimited production, pumping up as much value to the shareholders as possible. With the rise of renewable resources on the horizon and the economic recession ahead of us, these old practices will have to change. And that begins with the employee. 

With small changes, you can make a big impact on your entire business. Reduce energy consumption with these handy little tips, and you’ll cut down on costs and turn your company into a more eco-friendly place. 

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