A FACILITY MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR INCREASING ENERGY EFFICIENCY, CONTROLLING COSTS, AND REDUCING CONSUMPTION IN INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING BUILDINGS
The most critical role in managing industrial manufacturing facilities is maintaining production. A close second is improving energy efficiency to maintain a cost-effective facility. The cost to operate a facility is the silent partner that pulls away from a company’s primary goal. A strategic energy management (SEM) plan is a critical first step to future planning and avoiding the pitfalls of many manufacturing facilities today.
SEM plans offer facilities the peace of mind that they are making a conscious effort to reduce operating costs while creating the freedom to react to the other opportunities in front of them. Adopting an SEM plan is in the best interest of every facility as, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), commercial buildings and industrial facilities waste, on average, 30 percent of the energy they consume.
Understanding Energy Management
Energy management is an ongoing and diligent assessment of industrial manufacturing buildings and facilities involving extensive energy usage planning and tracking. Managing energy usage allows facilities to identify where waste is occurring and resolve the issues.
Implementing energy management can begin with the most straightforward routine of ensuring lights are off when rooms are unoccupied to more complex steps, including maintenance of current equipment, optimization of flow rates for conservation, utility bill management, incentives and rebate management, and energy-efficient equipment upgrades.
While energy management strategies will differ from one facility to another, there are universal steps that managers can take to ensure energy efficiency occurs within their facilities. Once the energy usage is assessed and inefficiencies are identified, facilities can determine how to address issues, from one-off adjustments to equipment upgrades. The pros and cons of potential savings are usually the deciding factor, and change does not occur overnight.
Energy represents a significant operational cost for industrial facilities. By identifying and addressing waste, optimizing systems, and adopting energy-efficient technologies, facilities can experience substantial cost savings. These savings can be reinvested in other areas or used for infrastructure and production improvements.
Enhanced Operational Efficiency
Efficient energy management enables facilities to optimize their energy consumption patterns. Analyzing energy usage data, identifying inefficiencies, and implementing targeted improvements can streamline operations and enhance overall efficiency.
Industrial facilities have a responsibility to minimize their environmental impact. Energy management is crucial, allowing facilities to reduce their carbon footprint, conserve natural resources, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Utilisting SEM Plans to Reach Energy Management Potential
Facility managers can reach the full potential of energy management in their industrial manufacturing buildings by implementing several universal SEM plans.
Conducting energy audits and benchmarking energy performance are essential initial steps. The process involves assessing energy consumption patterns, identifying energy waste areas, and setting benchmarks to measure progress. Understanding energy profiles helps facilities in developing targeted SEM plans.
Upgrading to energy-efficient systems and equipment is a fundamental part of any SEM plan and is easy to implement. Upgrades may include installing LED lighting, energy-efficient HVAC systems, smart controls, and advanced building automation systems. These technologies optimize energy usage and reduce waste.
Monitoring and Data Analytics
Real-time energy monitoring and data analytics tools provide valuable insights into energy consumption patterns. By tracking energy usage, identifying trends, and monitoring performance, facility managers can proactively identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize energy efficiency.
Employee Engagement and Training
Engaging employees in energy management initiatives is vital for success. Educating staff about energy-saving practices, encouraging responsible energy usage, and incentivizing energy-conscious behavior can lead to energy reduction.
Renewable Energy Integration
Incorporating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, can enhance energy efficiency. By generating clean energy on-site, facilities can reduce their dependence on conventional sources and lower carbon emissions.
Producing tangible energy savings is a commitment that takes time and patience. It includes establishing performance metrics, regularly tracking progress, making adjustments as needed, continuously seeking improvement opportunities, and embracing emerging technologies and best practices.
Connecting the Efficiency Dots and Breaking Down the Energy Usage Data
The rapidly evolving industrial landscape is looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption to save costs, meet sustainability goals, and minimize their environmental footprint. However, achieving energy efficiency requires more than just implementing energy-saving technologies and practices — it requires data integration and analysis.
Thanks to sensors, meters, and energy management systems, industrial facilities are treasure troves of data. Yet, this data often remains fragmented and underutilized. To truly unlock the potential of energy management, facility managers must embrace data integration and use it to gain insights, identify inefficiencies, and make informed decisions.
One of the critical components of efficient facility management is the use of Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). These systems help facility managers keep track of equipment maintenance schedules, service contracts, and planned preventive care. While CMMS primarily focuses on maintenance, the data collected can also reveal hidden opportunities for energy savings.
IoT Remote Monitoring
The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized industrial facilities’ operations. IoT remote monitoring platforms allow real-time data collection and analysis, enabling automatic adjustments to equipment settings for optimal energy efficiency.
CAFM and EAM
Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems are comprehensive tools that track energy usage to manage various aspects of industrial facilities. These systems provide a view of a facility’s energy performance, costs, and assets, offering a range of capabilities instrumental in achieving energy efficiency.
CAFM systems help manage space and optimize facility layouts to reduce energy waste. For instance, they can recommend relocating workstations to take advantage of natural light or consolidating equipment to reduce HVAC load. EAM systems, on the other hand, enable better asset tracking and maintenance planning, ensuring that equipment operates at peak efficiency.
By integrating these systems with SEM plans, facility managers can better understand how energy usage relates to other aspects of facility operations and identify areas where energy consumption can be reduced without compromising productivity or safety.
Contact APenergy Today
Companies interested in reducing energy consumption and decreasing monthly energy costs by establishing an energy management plan should contact the APenergy team, the leading sustainable energy consulting company. Our APenergy consultants provide a vast range of services to obtain practical energy solutions.