As the owner of a retail store warehouse, there’s no doubt that you’re always on the lookout for energy saving opportunities. This is something which more and more business owners are taking increasingly seriously and it isn’t difficult see why. Your retail store warehouse is a fundamental part of your business, and without it, you’d struggle to get by in the way you need to. However, that doesn’t mean that it can become a burden on your finances due to it being energy inefficient - quite the opposite, in fact. Warehouse energy, if not properly managed and controlled, can burn a serious hole in your company budget, and as such, it’s vital that you are aware and conscious of ways to cut back on wastage, and take full advantage of energy saving opportunities as they arise.
Not only will reducing energy wastage save you money over a surprisingly short period of time, it will also bring other benefits to your business, too. By taking up energy saving opportunities, and ensuring your warehouse is doing all it can to consume and waste less energy, you can proudly proclaim your green credentials on your company branding… and see for yourself how this will bring you more custom from those who place a high value on such things.
Let’s take a closer look at how your business and your retail warehouse in particular can slash energy wastage, and save your company both energy and money.
Warehouse / Factory Energy Saving Opportunities
In this section, we’re going to look at a few key areas where you may be wasting energy and money without necessarily realising it. However, this list is far from exhaustive - all businesses can benefit from taking the time to think carefully about how they can conserve more energy, and what small changes they can make which may lead to huge improvements. You can find official checklists online, which will give you a good idea of what to look out for, and which offer expert advice regarding positive steps to take.
All warehouses and factories have a plethora of electrical equipment, and if you haven’t already checked through all of your systems for inefficiency, wastage, or ways in which they can be improved, you might be missing out on a huge sum of money. Modern energy-saving technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and most energy efficient electrical systems and solutions are more affordable than ever before. Is it time you updated your warehouse and caught up with the times?
One of the most significant areas where money can be saved is in regards to lighting. Your retail warehouse doubtlessly features a lot of lighting… but are you using old, energy inefficient lighting systems, or have you checked out the enormous savings that can be made with LED lighting?
More affordable than ever before, LED lighting has a lifespan which vastly exceeds older bulb types. What’s more, it doesn’t waste energy by producing heat, and requires a tiny fraction of the electricity consumed by other lighting methods. We’ve seen businesses all over the country slash their electricity bills within a year after converting their lighting to LED, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t do the same.
Higher Efficiency Motors
There are plenty of energy saving opportunities available through the use of higher efficiency motors at your warehouse or factory. The best thing about them? They cost no more than low efficiency ones, and will save an average of 3-5% of energy and running costs.
Variable Speed Drives
If you haven’t fitted variable speed drives (VSDs) to your equipment, you’re missing out on a major energy saving opportunity that really shouldn’t be overlooked. By reducing the speed of a fan or pump by just 20% (which wouldn’t dramatically affect their ability to do their job by any means), you can cut energy usage and running costs by 50%. That’s an enormous saving, and something all business owners should consider investing in.
Leakage of compressed air systems is by no means uncommon - in fact, anywhere between 20% and 50% is considered somewhat normal in this regard. However, if you have a system which is only 50% efficient… you can easily imagine just how much money and energy is being wasted!
Check your compressed air for leaks as soon as you can. It’s best to do so during quiet periods or when closed, as there will be no demand for air at those points. These systems are surprisingly straightforward to repair, and the savings you could make might be significant. Find out how to check here.
You should also consider how often your compressor is being used, and whether it is left running when air is not needed. All too many companies simply leave their systems running at all times, which leads to enormous amounts of energy wastage and unnecessarily high bills.
Many business owners are loathe to replace their refrigeration systems, as new ones can be very costly. What they don’t realise, however, is just how much extra money they’re wasting by not updating them… in fact, new refrigeration units can actually quite quickly pay for themselves through the money they save on bills! If you use refrigerators, you need to check the following:
- Are the refrigerator’s seals all intact and in good condition? If not, they’ll need to be replaced, as this is the most common cause of inefficiency and wastage.
- Are the doors being kept closed as much as possible, and only opened absolutely when necessary?
- Are the units well maintained? Many refrigerators become inefficient due to build-up of ice, or from the chiller outlet becoming blocked with dust or debris.
You can find out more information regarding reducing refrigerator inefficiency via the Carbon Trust.
It goes without saying that there are many schemes out there designed to encourage businesses to become more energy efficient (as if saving money and energy wasn’t enough of an incentive!). Have a look at products deemed eligible for tax relief below, which will make these energy saving opportunities even more attractive!
Bills and Meters to Estimate Energy Saving Possibilities
By keeping an eye on bills and meter readings, you’ll be able to track how your energy is being used, how consumption changes from month to month, and you’ll then be able to set up a strategy to cut wastage and increase efficiency.
Your measurements will easily allow you to do the following:
- Ensure that you’re only paying for the fuel that you are using
- Compare your current consumption with that from this time last year
- Look closely at seasonal patterns of consumption
- Identify spikes or dips in energy consumption, and understand why they might occur
We’re constantly advising our clients and customers to take a closer look at their bills, and see what they can learn from them. Noting down regular readings from your meter will allow you to establish patterns of energy consumption, and these can then be directly compared against your energy usage goals. Any major inconsistencies will most likely provide the key to identifying where energy is not being used correctly, or inefficiencies are occurring.
Making a Difference with Energy Saving Opportunities
When it comes to running a successful retail business, looking after the energy efficiency of your retail warehouse and factory is key. Warehouse-level energy saving will not just help maintain the longevity and sustainability of your business, but it will also considerably boost profitability and marketability, too - and who wouldn’t wish for that?
Here at Planned Lighting Maintenance, we’ve made it our mission to lead the way when it comes to sustainability, green growth and energy efficiency in the lighting industry. Over the years, we’ve provided affordable and money-saving solutions for countless clients, and we’ve played our part in ensuring their green future, too.