In discussions about industrial energy savings, energy saving methods are discussed as if a company could choose only one method to lower their energy costs, which isn’t true. While some commercial energy savings methods offer greater annual savings than others, perhaps the biggest reason for the view that energy savings methods can’t be combined is because many energy efficiency companies only specialize in one method of energy reduction. Therefore, it pays to view industrial energy savings holistically, combining as many methods as possible to achieve the highest savings. Below, we look three energy-savings methods that can be combined to realize greater savings than any of them would offer on their own.
Energy Efficient Design
The energy saving method that offers the highest savings is energy efficient design, with many companies realizing over a 50 percent reduction in their annual utility cost after implementing facility wide energy saving retrofits. The two most common targets of energy efficient retrofitting are HVAC system components and interior lighting system components, which combine to account for the majority of most companies’ annual energy usage. The problem with traditional lighting systems is as expected: their lamps and ballasts use more energy than necessary to create an optimal lighting effect, and the lamps show increasingly poor performance over the course of their useful life. The problem with traditional HVAC components is that many of them are oversized, and use more energy than necessary to create the optimal heating and cooling effects. Therefore, with the exception of replacing non-efficient boilers, most HVAC systems are made more efficient simply by downsizing their components.
Picking Power Rates
While implementing efficient design is the best single way to reduce energy costs, many companies don’t have the option of finding more efficient versions of industrial machines, which makes paying as little as possible for electric and gas a valuable cost saving method. Getting the best power rates usually involves hiring a power rate brokerage and consultancy firm to dialogue with energy providers, and the negotiated power rates don’t last forever. Nonetheless, when combined with facility wide energy efficient retrofits, always paying as little as possible for power can really pay off, both for companies that use industrial machinery and companies that don’t.
Energy Conservation Measures
Energy conservation measures have been practiced for as long as companies have received energy bills. But today’s conservation measures are high tech. Instead of relying on employees to turn off unnecessary lighting, companies can now implement lighting control systems that dim or turn off lights in relation to movement or on a set schedule. Another example of modern energy conservation is improving a building’s envelope to preserve the warmth and coolness produced by an HVAC system. Conservation measures alone are a dependable way to cut energy costs. Yet, when combined with efficient design and rate picking, they complete a powerful trio of cost saving methods that results in paying as little as possible for utilities.