Industrial energy efficiency programs can deliver substantial energy savings to the general public and utility systems. It can do this at a lower cost than most programs aimed at other sectors. Realizing energy savings across industrial programs is one of the best methods to keep energy prices low for all consumers. This is due to several factors:
Industrial consumers represent the majority of the energy demand. They also represent a meaningful amount of the energy savings opportunity.
The volume of electricity saved by industrial programs is significant. It replaces the need to invest in more costly power plants or transmission and distribution system enhancements.
These methods tend to have longer lifetimes than many residential methods.
Many states, utility companies, and program administrators engage in programs targeted at customers who use large amounts of energy. These programs can enable the use of a variety of technologies and management practices. They can help to decrease energy consumption in the manufacturing sector.
Industrial operations differ by product, process, facility size, budget, and technical complexity. A one-size-fits-all approach is not effective, so a variety of methods have been established.
8 Tips for Implementing Energy-Efficient Measures and Systems
Regardless of the type of industry that you are in, here are some effective ways that your facilities can become more energy-efficient:
1. Conduct an Energy Audit of your Facilities
Before you can make decisions to improve the energy efficiency of your facilities, you’ll need to know the amount of energy that is currently used in your production cycles. This will help you to become more aware of the amount of energy that your company consumes and show where improvements can be made.
Audits can be performed in-house or independently. Independent auditors are the best choice here. They possess the expertise required and they are impartial. They can also recommend what you can do to improve efficiency upon completion of the audit.
2. Power Down
When possible, turn off things such as lights, machinery, or compressors when not in use. This may sound like an obvious solution, but it is often overlooked.
You should schedule machinery use outside of peak hours of energy consumption, if possible. Turn off lights when they are not needed. Use automated lighting systems that utilize timers, occupancy sensors, and/or photosensors.
3. Use LED Lighting
LEDs use less energy and last longer than other types of lights. They have a higher upfront cost than other types of lighting, but savings are realized because they cost less to operate and replace. They also help you to avoid issues with hazardous disposal because they don’t have toxic materials such as mercury. Another added benefit is that they produce a superior quality of light. LED Lighting can be used indoors (warehouses and gymnasiums) or outdoors (flood lights, parking lot lights and sports field lighting)
4. Improve your Climate Control Systems
Use a programmable thermostat to set and hold the indoor temperature to a reasonable level. You can also set it to change during daytime/nighttime hours.
Another strategy that is effective is to repair and insulate your ducts. This will keep warmed or cooled air from escaping so that your HVAC system can work more efficiently.
5. Maintain your Equipment
It is crucial to regularly clean and maintain your electrical and mechanical equipment. Doing this will ensure that everything is working at peak efficiency. This can also help to extend the life of your equipment.
6. Replace your Old and Outdated Equipment
It’s possible that your industrial equipment has been used for many years and has become old and outdated. The new equipment will likely be more energy-efficient and will save on costs in the long term. An added bonus is that it is likely more technologically advanced than the old equipment.
7. Optimize your Air Compressors
Air compressors used in Industrial Facilities consume a lot of energy. Replace or properly maintain them so that you can prevent wasted energy. Important maintenance tips include:
Drain condensation from the tank and replace seals.
Check for air and oil leaks.
Confirm safe operating temperature.
Change the oil.
8. Recover Wasted Heat and Reuse It
Industrial processes produce a large amount of heat. Much of it is wasted but there are solutions to this. There are many technologies today that can recover wasted heat.
One simple solution is to use a heat exchanger. In many industrial activities, there is a waste of energy or a heat stream. Heat exchangers recover this heat and reuse it by heating a different stream in the process.
You can also install a condensing economizer. Water vapor is a combustion product of natural gas. Condensing economizers convert this water vapor into recaptured heat.
Examples of Governmental and Non-Profit Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs
The Energy Star Program has industrial energy efficiency resources for state and utility programs in the United States and Canada. All tools and resources established by Energy Star can be used to encourage energy efficiency for manufacturers in your state or utility service area.
Sector-Specific guidance and resources that focus on various industrial sectors
Recognition opportunities for manufacturers which includes official Energy Star Certification
ISO 50001 is an internationally recognized energy management system (EnMS) created by the International Organization for Standardization. It is a management standard for the constant improvement of energy performance. This standard seeks to help organizations continually lessen their energy use, and consequently their energy costs.
A company can become ISO 50001-certified if its energy management system meets its requirements. This certification reflects an organization’s commitment to energy efficiency and performance.
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)
SWEEP is a public-interest group that promotes improved energy efficiency in New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. It plays an active role in encouraging industrial energy efficiency improvements.
SWEEP helps industries understand their energy consumption. It does this by analyzing and then breaking down energy usage and costs. It then helps to focus their efforts on improvements on areas that need it the most.
European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (eceee)
The European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a membership-based non-profit association. It is an NGO dedicated to energy efficiency.
It helps to implement energy efficiency projects for manufacturing industry sectors. It does this by providing a set of technological and policy best practices.
Other Great Resources to Read
Complete Guide to Electrician Salaries
Top Electrical Contractor Publications to Stay Up to Date with
Top 11 Lighting Industry Publications to Keep Up to Date With
Guide to Lighting as a Service Business Model (LaaS)
Industrial Energy Audit Checklist
The Complete Guide to Industrial Energy Efficient Projects
About the Author
Neil Peterson is Chief Operating Officer at LED Lighting Supply. He has been active in the LED industry for over 10 years and is responsible for product planning and management as well as revenue and operations at LED Lighting Supply. Much of Neil’s time is focused on customer engagement for large commercial and industrial lighting requirements. When not working, he enjoys family time, camping, fishing, and sports..