In a large manufacturing facility with a big footprint, production equipment and maintaining the right environmental conditions are often very large consumers of energy. Large manufacturers should consider that the upfront cost of a new machine is often very small compared to the amount of energy it will consume over its lifecycle. So selecting energy-efficient machinery when replacing equipment is a good investment.
Indeed, cutting carbon dioxide emissions and saving money go hand-in-hand for large manufacturers, even if it means upfront investment in new technology. To calculate the return on investment of an energy efficiency project, estimate the cost versus projected savings over time. Calculate the return by dividing the savings by cost and expressing the result as a percentage.
The Energy Saving Trust says that small and medium-sized engineering companies can get in on the act and save up to a quarter on their bills by implementing some straightforward energy efficiency measures. The Federation of Small Businesses recommends starting by collecting data on energy usage and introducing a range of measures including installing smart metres and LED lighting and considering fitting new insulation.
Want more ideas on how to improve energy efficiency in industry? You could try:
- Implementing an energy management standard (ISO 50001 provides a means of carbon reduction through energy efficiency)
- Maintaining equipment properly to reduce energy wastage
- Continuously improving operations
- Turning off lighting when it’s not needed
- Using timers to only heat or cool the premises when employees are present
- Replacing older heating and cooling systems with energy efficient models
Taking practical measures like these will help to improve your plant’s energy consumption, not only saving you money but also changing the world for the better. And not before time. Despite the progress made in the UK in cutting CO2 since 1990, emissions from manufacturing in Britain in 2020 still stood at 48,350,000 tonnes, according to the UK Energy Research Centre.
There’s a lot more to do as we race toward that 2050 net zero emissions target.
Did you know RS carries a full range of products to make your plant more energy efficient? Check out our LED strip lighting here.