Whilst a move to smarter and more flexible energy procurement offers significant savings for many manufacturers, this only addresses the unit rate of energy. The cost of energy is a function of that unit rate multiplied by consumption and it is consumption that drives the environmental sustainability agenda and is the element of the cost equation that you have greatest control over.
The first step towards addressing overall consumption and in particular, wasted energy is to establish a better, top-to-bottom understanding of how your organisation consumes energy. A range of sub-meters, tracking tools and software modelling is available to allow you to build up a comprehensive picture of consumption across facilities, production lines and even down to individual products. This also helps to inform your activity-based costing, an important business imperative.
Commitment, planning, action and reporting of the results should be at the heart of energy-intensive sectors like manufacturing. However, the same approach can be applied to smaller users
Many businesses choose to comply with the Environmental Management System, ISO 14001. This includes many of the elements of the above approach, but also extends the scope to cover other aspects of sustainability.
Better acquisition, analysis and management of energy data not only allows opportunities for reduction in consumption, but also ensures empirical evidence for the impact of any measures that are been implemented.
Once a better overview of areas of consumption are secured, the data it presents can be used to help inform, select, refine and monitor a range of energy efficiency measures in conjunction with a site visit. Changes in staff behaviour and processes as well as equipment improvements may all offer substantial savings.
Without this fundamental understanding and measurement of the energy you are already consuming, selecting the measures to provide the biggest impact on your business can be reduced to little more than guesswork and the performance cannot be tracked.
Properly implemented, these solutions deliver tangible savings to reduce energy intensity, improve sustainability and mitigate the impact of price rises as well as ensuring maximum return on investment from energy technologies.
Maintaining Competitive Advantage
Manufacturers are facing serious concerns over continued pressure from;
- The rising price of raw materials, and energy,
- Increased competition and ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit,
- Maintaining or improving productivity and competitiveness
- Client pressure to improve and demonstrate environmental sustainability
Your business imperative includes understanding sophisticated energy charging methodologies, there are a multitude of taxes and levies applied, particularly for electricity and many of these are variable, depending on the time and season. Many manufacturers do not have the luxury of a dedicated Energy Manager, so it is important that businesses engage with their energy advisors to develop appropriate short, medium and long-term strategies for managing the total cost of energy and your environmental sustainability.
With energy use being a key source of emissions to air for manufacturers, reducing waste will also help businesses to meet sustainability targets and, in some cases to meet obligations from schemes such as Climate Change Agreements.
To find out more about how Inenco can support your business imperatives to reduce energy intensity, and improve sustainability, email [email protected]
09 December 2019Back to list