9 Mistakes Manufacturers Make When Using Business Gas and Electricity

03 April 2017

9 Mistakes Manufacturers Make When Using Business Gas and Electricity

The cost of energy is important for all manufacturers. For some, however, it’s so significant it can mean the difference between making a profit or a loss. Here are our top nine mistakes manufacturers make when using business gas and electricity:

  1.       Leaving equipment on when it’s not being used - this applies to motors, computers, space heaters, air intake systems, lights, office equipment, and more.
  1.       Leaving equipment running at full capacity - you may have equipment that can't be turned off completely. This doesn't mean it must always run at full capacity, however, particularly when you’re not using it. You should audit the equipment that needs to stay on permanently to see what can be turned to a more economical setting when it’s not required.
  1.       Not carrying out proper maintenance - equipment needs maintained to ensure it doesn't break down, but maintenance also ensures you equipment operates as efficiently as possible. Many people, however, choose not to maintain equipment or decide to delay scheduled maintenance to save money. This is usually a false economy, however, particularly if the equipment breaks down. In addition, the increased costs to run the equipment will add up over time and often exceed the cost of maintenance.
  1.       Buying the lowest cost equipment - this is done to save money but cheap equipment is often more expensive to run than costlier alternatives. Over time, a lot of equipment that’s more expensive to purchase will be cheaper in the long run. In fact, it often doesn't take long for the reduced running costs to offset the higher purchase price. If the initial purchase price is a barrier, you should consider alternative financing options so you can benefit from energy efficient equipment.
  1.       Running motors at higher than necessary speeds - reducing the speed of motors can significantly lower the amount of energy used. The best way to do this is through variable speed drives in fans, pumps, and other equipment.
  1.       Running compressed air systems at a pressure setting that’s too high - a significant amount of energy is wasted by compressed air systems that run at a pressure that’s higher than needed. Even by lowering the pressure by just 1-bar, you could reduce the energy used by the system by seven percent.
  1.       Not fixing leaks in compressed air systems - the other thing you should do if you have compressed air systems is to regularly look for and repair leaks. Even pinhole size leaks will cost you money - sometimes hundreds of pounds a year.
  1.       Not fixing faulty or damaged seals on fridge doors - refrigeration units use energy to run so it is crazy to let cold air escape unnecessarily. You should check the seals on all your refrigeration units regularly and fix problems whenever they are identified.
  1.       Not installing insulation on pipework - whether the pipework is hot or cold, insulation will reduce the amount of energy you use.

Not all of the tips in this list will apply to your manufacturing business, but fixing them is the best way to use business gas and electricity efficiently.

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