As part of our ongoing mission to help businesses out during this transitional period, we hosted a webinar entitled ‘Managing Energy During a Phase of Business Continuity’ wherein our panel of three energy experts gave helpful advice on how to cut your energy costs in uncertain times.

There are two main aspects of cost reduction where savings can be made

  1. Physical changes (ie the changes you can make to equipment and facilities)  – this could be programmed times of operations; asset time clocks; managing ambient parameters; etc.
  2. Behavioural changes (the alterations made to the staff’s day to day operations) – these include working from home where possible; consolidation of shift patterns; etc. 

Implementing these changes can have large effects on the consumption of your site(s), one of our manufacturing clients came to us just before their shutdown began to enquire about an unusually high baseload consumption (the minimum energy demand of a site) of 140 KWh. By implementing some key physical and behavioural changes, we were able to reduce their baseload to around 35 KWh, so employing these changes really do work. 

“Without these changes, the site would have been consuming 140 KW every hour, every day the site was closed – and they aren’t scheduled to begin production again until 6th April”

Cutting consumption across different industries

Whether you’re a manufacturer, hotel or predominantly office based there are ways you can reduce your energy consumption and in doing so your costs.

Manufacturing

There are multiple steps you can take to cut consumption in this industry, but it isn’t as simple as just turning the lights off and leaving. One of our clients was looking to shut down, and so we found a few areas for them to cut back on. Air compressors were still supplying compressed air, despite being unnecessary as production was halted, and the client had automatic AC that usually would be saving them money, but as there was no production, the AC was cooling the area unnecessarily.

It’s the larger scale, background processes that often get overlooked when entering shutdown, as many businesses become so used to them being there they become forgotten, an extensive survey is needed to assess the best way to cut consumption.

Hospitality

Another industry hit hard by Covid-19 and the events that have unfolded in its wake is the hospitality industry. We work with many hotels and have supported them during their shutdown process. 

One client has energy saving measures in place, and so housekeeping and other members of staff are trained to minimise consumption in unoccupied rooms, which there happen to be a lot of in the current climate.

“A lot of the energy load for this client is keeping the various zones heated to a comfortable degree, but there just aren’t any people in there.”

This site has an automatic AC and heating system installed, and as an automatic process has continued to keep areas of the hotel heated to the right temperature, even when there is no one to feel the benefits – this needed to be tweaked to save usage, by altering time-on zones and the time it is spent actually turned on.

Offices

As many of the office based workforces have shifted to working from home patterns, minimising consumption in the office becomes absolutely paramount. At Businesswise, we moved to completely working from home over the course of a week following successful trials, more importantly however, we did a full sweep of our energy usage across the site, turned off anything unnecessary and set anything necessary to its absolute minimum usage. The effect this has had on our energy usage can be seen very clearly below:

The importance of conducting an inspection around the site(s) cannot be stressed enough, and will save thousands over the course of a period of working from home.

“It is worth noting that all critical pieces of equipment (server rooms, including AC in server rooms) must be left on fully functioning, the critical infrastructure of a business can be crippled by this.”

For the full webinar recording, slide deck and guide follow this link.