Improving energy efficiency for industrial facilities is an ongoing process. There are some improvements that are quicker than others, but long-term energy efficiency is part of an ongoing strategy that must be implemented over an extended period of time. Establishing and holding to best practices for industrial facilities is critical for lowering costs and meeting carbon emission goals. We have found that many industrial clients rely on service providers to meet and establish these best practices.
Why Your Choice in Service Providers Matters
There are some aspects of energy management that customers might not consider when making their choice in service providers. When you’re selecting a service provider, you should understand that there is grave disparity with the standardization in the quality of data that many companies provide when performing an energy audit. As the customer, you have to make financial decisions based on the conclusions provided to you.
The truth is, industrial energy management and energy efficiency initiatives are all about having valid, quality data on your performance, typically on a whole facility level. Your electric bill is where everything starts and how you judge the improvement of your systems. With evaluations that have aggressive assumptions excluding interactive effects of multiple projects,, you won’t know where you stand and it’s more likely to lead to underperformance.
This data isn’t bad intentionally, but most service providers are trying to sell the equipment that will save you energy. This means that the information can be right, but in context. Air Power is an independent and brand neutral company. All we are attempting to sell is our knowledge and 35 years of experience in working at facilities just like yours.
For most of our projects at Air Power, we operate on a performance basis. That means our success depends almost entirely on the end result and real-world performance that the customer sees in their systems. This sort of work requires our estimates and expectations to be highly accurate. Otherwise, we risk under delivering on our services. Before you start working with a service provider, it’s a good best practice to check if they do performance contracting.
What Do We Mean by Best Practices?
The short answer is that best practices are ever-changing performance targets to benchmark against. Technology changes. The limitations and capabilities of your equipment are going to change. Your organization will change. It only makes sense that your best practices will need to grow and adapt with them. Like we said, it’s an ongoing process. With the right help from industry thought leaders, you can stay on top of it.
There are multiple categories to consider in improving energy efficiency in industrial facilities. Many experts will recommend a staged approach where you assess every category separately. Categories like: retrocommissioning, lighting, compressed air systems, upgrades in heating and cooling, or production improvements which reduce energy consumption throughout your facility. You can start assessing these categories one at time and picking the most effective improvement first. Don’t forget to take advantage of utility incentives along the way.
Feeling unsure of where to start? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of the companies that come to us start a partnership feeling the same way. We’re here to assist as well as educate you in establishing the best practices for your facility and organization as a whole.
There’s Always More to Learn in Energy Management
This is just scratching the surface of the best practices in industrial energy efficiency. To hear more about what our decades of experience has to offer, reach out to Air Power USA today.