With utility prices at an all time high, effective energy management has never been more important
The energy market is a volatile place right now for UK businesses, especially those in manufacturing industries which rely on huge amounts of power to complete their daily tasks. With prices so high and winter on its way, it’s never been more important to practise effective energy management within your organisation.
That’s why we’re here to help. Here are six tips to help your manufacturing business get a firmer grip on energy management best practices.
Find your peak energy use
Peak demand charges are, as the name suggests, when your business uses the most amount of energy in any given billing period. They are calculated over a 15-minute interval, and can make up a significant chunk of your energy bill.
Automated meter reading technology and real-time visibility make it much easier to identify the peaks and troughs of your energy usage, so be sure to upgrade your utilities systems so you can lower demand charges over time.
Create start up and shut down periods
It’s important to consider when is the optimal time for machine use, and when is the right time for machine shut down. Scheduling production floor shuts downs where all machinery is powered off can markedly lower your energy costs. The most popular times for these shut downs are weekends and evenings.
Staggering the start up of your machinery can also help lower your bills, as powering up all your equipment at once may contribute to the peak power period mentioned above.
Optimise air compressors
Air compressors are an important factor in many factory floors, but they can also create a great deal of energy wastage thanks to both the compressed air and the compressors themselves. Like your machinery, it’s important to switch off your air compressors when they’re not in use, as an idling compressor can still use as much as 40% of its full load.
Compressed air leakages can also create unnecessary energy costs, so be sure to carry out regular leak tests on the distribution pipework where the compressed air travels.
Establish furnace performance
If your factory uses a furnace, it’s important to carry out regular maintenance tests to ensure that it isn’t wasting energy. Recovering the wasted heat used in the production process and reusing it can help to reduce your total amount of energy usage, while also lowering your carbon footprint through forward-thinking sustainable action.
Practise energy housekeeping
When it comes to energy management, small changes can make a big difference, so get in the habit of carrying out positive energy housekeeping within your workplace. This includes being more mindful about your factory’s lighting (switching off lights when they’re not in use and swapping out traditional lightbulbs for LED alternatives). Servicing your boiler, recirculating heat and making sure fridge units remain fully sealed can also contribute to lower energy costs over time. Share this mindfulness with the rest of your team so that everyone involved in on the same page, and you’ll find that these small habits start to make a significant difference.
Seek out support from Consultiv Utilities
Navigating the energy market is tough for businesses right now, but you don’t need to suffer alone. With years of experience and invaluable connections under our belt, our business energy procurement experts are on hand to help you manage your energy effectively and cut the utilities costs of your manufacturing business, standing you in better stead to grow in the future.