Many plant owners and managers are shocked to discover that more than half of their energy goes to waste through energy hogs such as inefficient equipment and bad air compressors. Taking measures to improve efficiency means that you may be eligible for California solar rebates as well as minimizing the overall cost of energy.
Whichever way you approach the issue, energy efficiency should be of critical importance for any prudent plant manager. There are a few guidelines that should help you get started on a path towards cheaper and more efficient energy consumption.
Set-up an Energy Management Team
Formulating a comprehensive energy efficiency initiative is all well and good but if there is no one to oversee the project, you are very likely to fail. There needs to be clear structures about who is responsible for each part of the implementation. Execution is the most important thing and without it plans, initiatives and so on are useless. The team should be made up of personnel who have the most to gain from a successful energy efficiency program.
Do an Energy Audit
An energy audit is one of the most important things that you can do for your energy efficiency program. The audit should help to discover energy drains and pinpoint specific areas for implementation. It is worth calling in a third party that specializes in such audits. The audit company is able to acquire diverse and detailed data as well as quantify energy usage per department which is essential in formulating a comprehensive efficiency plan. In addition to this, you stand a better chance at being eligible for Edison rebates based on the expert’s advice and implementation.
Schedule Machine Usage
Scheduling is an effective yet cost-free option for reducing energy consumption. The results can yield up to 30% efficiency. The idea is to identify the machines that require the most energy to run. These machines are then run during off-peak hours if at all possible.
Consider Start-Ups and Start-Downs
This point is also related to scheduling and can dramatically reduce power consumption at no cost to you. The idea is to shut off the power to all machinery for a pre-determined period such as during off-shift hours or on the weekends. It is necessary to first identify peak operation hours before taking up this strategy. The second strategy is to segment machinery startup such that not everything goes on at once. Starting all the machinery at once may be an unnecessary power drain especially during peak hours.
Optimize Air Compressors
Most of the energy waste in an industrial setting can be traced back to the compressors. Most of this wastage is due to improper maintenance and poor design. A single leak can take up hundreds of dollars every year. Simply installing more efficient compressors can get you on the fast-track to industrial efficiency.
The best way forward is to hire a third-party energy management company to perform the audits, formulation and implementation of energy efficiency plans. There is a lot more you can gain from optimizing efficiency than simply saving money on monthly utility bills.