Manufacturing businesses across Europe are striving to reduce their energy usage and costs as they continue to rise, affecting bottom lines and ROI. The planet is also negatively affected by industrial energy use, responsible for 26% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. In the UK, the sector is said to consume 17% of the total country’s energy demand.
With Brexit, some challenges in industrial energy consumption have only intensified in the UK. Bringing up the topic of energy management in the corporate boardroom is an important first step, but what is even more critical is taking a holistic approach by following up and translating those conversations into concrete actions.
It is estimated that a third of manufacturers in the UK do not have any energy goals in place nor have set any KPIs to measure their progress. In addition to this lack of long-term vision, the current energy crisis generating an outstanding rise in energy costs often leading to missed opportunities made it harder for manufacturers to control their expenses and thus, remain competitive.
In this article, discover five measures you can take today to reduce the burden of high energy costs in manufacturing, regardless of your sector of activity.
5 Tips to Lower Your Energy Costs in Manufacturing
1. Empower your Energy Team with SMART goals
Speed and efficiency are two key aspects of industrial manufacturing and modern production processes. Yet, both are more difficult to achieve than ever due to unpredictable system failures, uncontrolled overhead costs and energy waste. To reach their production goals quickly and efficiently, manufacturers must align operational performance with a comprehensive energy strategy – and task the right people to carry it out.
This can be done by assembling an energy team responsible for setting and meeting SMART energy management goals.
For instance, an industrial metallurgy plant in Spain managed to save 110,000 EUR by assigning a dedicated energy team to set, implement and continually review their SMART energy goals.
Once the objectives are clearly set, it is time to onboard employees in your journey. Indeed, an energy efficiency plan shouldn’t be only driven by executive and energy teams: this type of project needs to be collaborative and supported by all actors of a company.
2. Start Monitoring Energy Consumption
Each piece of manufacturing equipment in your plant is full of valuable data that can reveal low or no-cost measures to eliminate energy waste that causes your bills to be unnecessarily high. Installing real-time energy monitoring equipment puts your energy team in full control of your energy consumption, with the side benefit of providing alerts that can help prevent breakdowns in the facility’s equipment. Monitoring can also generate off-hour consumption savings as in the TACSA industrial metallurgy case. Indeed, it is essential for you to be aware of the time, days and processes that generate the highest energy consumption in your plant. By doing so, you could avoid peak-period rates, and adjust accordingly your operational hours.
3. Switch to LED Lighting
First, you were told to switch from fluorescent to CFL, and now it’s all about LEDs. With a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours for high-quality LED lamps, there are significant energy savings to be made – on the order of 75%. Pretty hard to argue within a cost-benefit analysis you’ll need to submit to the CFO. Plus, a switch to LEDs comes with added benefits for your facility’s working environment by providing a higher quality of lighting which increases safety and productivity.