How to Effectively Minimize and Mitigate Energy Waste

Did you know that America is the global leader in wasting energy? The financial consequence of wasting and overusing energy is increased operational costs.  Companies that waste energy will spend more money without an appreciable ROI. The expected lifespan of production machines will diminish, there will be less capital for improvements and the company will create an unpleasant carbon footprint. Business leaders and facility managers can minimize energy waste by consulting with energy experts and by following the advice below.

Minimize Energy Waste

Implement an Environmental Management System

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines an Environmental Management System (EMS) as practices and processes that enable an organization to reduce increase operating efficiency and environmental impacts. An EMS will cost time, money and commitment, but the benefits are priceless. Formal EMS programs, such as the ISO 14000 series, are professional certified through national and international accrediting agencies. These programs are very demanding and comprehensive.

However, the EMS program will provide a structured framework for organizations to manage their operations and associated environmental impacts. They will help companies save money related to water, waste, energy and purchasing. EMS programs guarantee better management of environmental risk and compliance with legal regulations.  They demonstrate sustainability commitment and corporate responsibility to the public, which are powerful advertising and marketing tools.

Smart and Strategic Management

The first step is to hone the skills, buy the technology and establish the incentives to monitor and evaluate energy usage. Companies must first benchmark and quantify facility energy-usage data before they can reduce costs and energy consumption. Facility managers can do this through viewing energy consumption from an outside auditor’s perspective. They should accurately allocate energy costs based standard factors, such as square footage or processing unit. Next, they can digitally monitor facility-level energy consumption through innovative devices, integrated software and even basic spreadsheet-based models.

Facility managers should consider employing the services of energy auditors, industrial experts and sustainability support groups. For example, the EPA’s Energy Star program offers a useful Energy Program Assessment Matrix to help companies evaluate energy management performance. The Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program provides comprehensive energy assessments. There are also many excellent third-party consulting companies that provide holistic solutions and energy management support.

Finally, facilities can lower their energy usage through design improvements, which may reuse of waste heat, and intelligent production scheduling, which will automate equipment change overs.  They are also many new groundbreaking technologies that offer power-control devices, motion-control solutions and energy-efficient components.

 

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