Simple Ways to Eliminate Waste

This post explains simple ways you can eliminate your business’ energy waste and contribute towards making carbon and cost savings going beyond just switching off the lights…

A good way to begin is to carry out your own energy audit by walking round your site and recording any maintenance issues which need actioning or have the potential to become a problem in the future. This allows you to identify energy saving opportunities and help react to any problems before they become critical. The main areas to look at are heating, lighting, equipment and any machinery you may have.

Remember your energy usage will differ throughout the day so it is useful to conduct walk rounds at varying times, this allows you to create a better picture of where energy is being wasted.

Heating

Heating should be a key target area when considering energy saving measures as it can account for up to 40% of the energy used in non-domestic buildings…

Did you know heating costs rise by about 8% for every 1°C of overheating? (Carbon Trust, 2018)

A common business energy wastage problem is overheating, this is where areas are heated which do not need to be warmed, such as storage areas, areas of high activity, corridors and in the case of hotels, unoccupied rooms.

Other common heating waste problems:

  • Heating and cooling a space at the same time
  • Inefficient boilers – these can increase your energy costs by 30% so ensure they are regularly serviced
  • Incorrect time controls – check heating comes on only when required
  • Poor building insulation

Lighting

As well as the obvious (switching lights off) there are other simple and inexpensive ways to reduce energy consumption and costs associated with lighting…

Traditional light bulbs and halogen spotlights are expensive and actually produce more heat than light. Replace any traditional lights with LEDs, these have a longer life, lower maintenance cost and can represent cost savings of up to 80%. LEDs are also now rated as the most effective and efficient lighting technology on the market for most applications.

Consider ‘task lighting’ to minimise cost and consumption, by lighting just the working area to a higher level and providing background light for the rest of the space.

Investment in lighting controls will help reduce hours of use, particularly with exterior lighting by limiting their use to just the hours of darkness.

On the factory floor or in the warehouse

Businesses can make huge energy saving opportunities on the factory floor or in the warehouse and although equipment and processes vary for each business there are common areas to explore…

Ensure equipment is serviced regularly and is running at maximum efficiency, this may include conveyor systems, machinery and cold storage equipment. As these often have high energy consumption, substantial savings can be made by powering down machinery when not in use.

Check compressed air systems for leaks during periods where there is no demand for air and repair immediately. 20-50% leakage is common but by spotting this early on and proactively fixing leaks savings can be achieved.

Check your energy invoices and meter readings

Analysing your energy consumption by reviewing invoices and meter readings will allow you to build a picture of your energy performance and help establish energy consumption patterns. This can then be used to identify inconsistencies and show where energy is being wasted.

Plus, by checking your invoices and meter readings you can ensure you are only paying for what you’ve used, this is just common sense. It starts to get complex when working out time of use charges, which can alter depending on a number of factors.

Our Energy Information Technology (EIT) platforms take the hassle of this away, automating this reconciliation process and ensuring accurate charges, protecting your business’ cashflow.

We’ve saved a national sofa retailer £50,000 through a historical overcharging rebate and a household appliance retailer £29,540 through invoice and query management.

These are just some of the ways businesses can work towards eliminating energy waste, increase energy efficiency, reduce consumption and ultimately cost, but when the low hanging fruit has been picked, Businesses need to harness the power of IoT technology to drive down their carbon and cost. Find out more in our latest blog.

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