According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the industrial sector has long been the country's largest energy user, currently representing more than one-third of the country's total energy consumption. With this in mind, manufacturers across the U.S. must identify sustainable energy solutions that will drive efficiencies. There's no better time to seal in the savings on plant utility bills and begin working toward sustainability targets.
Do you want to reduce the energy costs at your plant? The following are five easy tips for factory and manufacturing facility owners and operators to reduce their carbon footprint and start reaping the savings.
1. Do your homework
First and foremost, you won't know how much you can save until you know where the money's being spent. An energy audit will help you better understand your energy usage and determine where your facility can go green and save money. Specialists can come to your facility to identify key energy saving areas for your facilities current and future needs.
2. Rethink plant lighting
By replacing existing lighting with energy-efficient products and controls, you can reduce energy consumption up to 50 percent as well as eliminate the risk of mercury contaminants in a short period of time.
Several lighting options and programs are available on the market that can lower utility bills and even help reduce air pollution. Controls can help reduce energy consumption with smart schedules and automation.
3. Evaluate motors and drives
Electric motors are responsible for nearly 70 percent of energy consumed in industrial applications. This percentage holds a considerable savings potential waiting to be realized. So why not start now by replacing existing motors with more energy-efficient versions? Or save by adding variable-frequency drive systems to the motors. In some cases, such drives can contribute as much as a 30-percent energy savings with a fairly quick return on the investment.
4. Control heating and cooling costs
As much as 30 percent of the energy used in a facility comes from heating and cooling costs. Making smarter decisions about your facility's heating, ventilating and air conditioning system can have a significant impact on utility bills. Adding drive and control systems can also help reduce costs.
5. Monitor the situation.
Knowing and understanding a plants' electrical footprint and monitoring energy use can help companies track progress toward efficiency goals as well as establish benchmarks for achievement. Intelligent energy monitors can track of energy usage across multiple locations from a central source to ensure maximum efficiency and control costs.