Crude oil prices could hit rock bottom but would still have minimal effect on the cost of energy. The link between the price of crude oil and the price of electricity isn’t as strong as many plant managers assume. It is in the best interest of the plant to implement energy efficiency. Apart from lower energy bills, the plant could also qualify for SCE energy rebates meaning more money in the bottom line. Below are a few areas where plant managers may implement EE to make a significant difference in the plant’s energy consumption.
Lighting is one of the obvious places where you can save on energy costs. Simply replacing old lighting with energy-efficient alternatives can have a major impact. Some of the choices include;
- LED tube lighting
- High-efficiency bulbs and fluorescents
- Clerestories and skylights for daylighting
Many plant managers are worried about the cost of replacing old lighting infrastructure. Fortunately, this is not necessary as there are retrofit kits that allow you to install new lighting on the existing housings or fixtures.
Equipment and Motors
Roughly 22 percent of all energy used in a plant comes from machine drive. Implementing energy efficient programs in these areas can have a dramatic impact in the total cost of energy. Replacing system and shaft losses with high-efficiency system significantly reduces the total operating cost. It may also be necessary to replace the equipment for long-term savings.
It is not always necessary to spend large amounts of money on new equipment to see drastic efficiency changes. Something as simple as changing operation and maintenance procedures can have the desired effect.
You may install comprehensive EE programs but if your utility company isn’t on board, your efforts could be wasted. Ensure that you are getting the best contract and usage plans possible for your operations. In addition to this, ensure that your company offers rebates and other incentives to save on energy. SCE rebates, for example, offer sufficient motivation to implement some of the ideas mentioned here.
Finally, putting down energy efficiency processes is one thing but its success depends largely on employee behavior. Engage all employees at all levels with your energy goals and keep them updated on the progress. More importantly, ensure that each employee is fully aware of his role in meeting these goals. Leave room for staff to share their own ideas and you might be surprised with the results. If nothing else, taking suggestions from employees makes them feel that they are part of the process and are more likely to behave in a positive and responsible manner.
It may be necessary to hire a third party to assess your current energy uses and come up with viable solutions. Hiring such a company means that the best EE practices and experience are at your disposal and increases your chances of enjoying lower utility bills, California energy rebates and other benefits.
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