How Manufacturers Can Cut Down Industrial Energy Costs 245

How Manufacturers Can Cut Down Industrial Energy Costs


Do you know how much of the electricity you pay every month is actually utilized to power your machinery? Well, it may be less than half because some of the energy could be escaping through energy hogs like inefficient equipment and leaky air compressors.

The industrial sector accounts for at least one-third of all US energy use, which includes mining, construction, agriculture, and manufacturing. And because energy resources are tight and narrow, and demand for industrial services continues to increase, cutting down its economic impact and meeting industrial energy demand will be difficult.

Below are ways to minimize industrial energy costs and make your manufacturing plant more energy-efficient. 


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Switch Energy Supplier

There are many benefits of switching energy providers, and your manufacturing facility can reap these rewards, provided that your state is deregulated. All you need to do is to go to an energy price comparison site such as Eligo Energy

Here, you will get a comprehensive and informative view of the energy market. On the website, enter your zip code or postcode. Keep in mind that gas energy rates are set regionally. Also, some energy providers only serve a few areas. 

Next, enter your usage information to get the most precise results. And then review and study the comparison results, and choose a new plan. It might be daunting at first because of the many options, but you can see plans the website can shift you to or look at plans without a cancellation fee.

Afterward, confirm and verify that change by entering your bank details and full address. Then, that’s it. Expect lots of savings when you switch energy providers and more control over your electricity bills.

Create a Management Team

One of the main reasons why cost-saving and energy-saving initiatives go wrong is because it is not clear whose management or authority it is to handle the undertaking. As such, it is wise to create a separate team for managing your energy. 

Get those people who are interested in keeping the costs low. Together, they can oversee or supervise energy usage across the facility and carry out ways to minimize waste. 

Energy Audit

Conduct an energy audit. You can opt to do this in-house through the help from facility experts and an energy audit guidebook. But it’s recommended to get professional assistance from an energy specialist.

Take note that an energy audit will gauge how much energy your facility is actually using and help determine peak energy use times throughout the year. Also, a useful energy audit will provide you pieces of information on which upgrades will deliver the best ROI.

Check for Leaks

Keep in mind that leaks are one of the chief sources of wasted energy. And putting them right can help you obtain or receive significant savings. According to some reports, leaks can lead to at least 30% output of a compressor. Also, they can cut down the effectiveness of your machinery.

Fortunately, there are many ways to identify and check if you have leaks in your compressed air systems. For instance, you can conduct an air leak survey. On the other hand, ultrasonic detectors are available for discovering small leaks. 

The common or prevalent causes for leaks included worn materials, loose hoses and tubes, and many more. Relying upon the cause, correcting leaks might be as easy as replacing minor parts or tightening up fittings.

Opt for Energy-Efficient Lighting

Industrial plants must be well-lit. Thus, it is essential that energy-efficient lighting is correctly installed. LEDs or CFLs can aid businesses to use lesser energy. Alternatively, consider removing or turning off lights in non-important areas, such as the vending machines. Instead, put the vending machines in a well-lit area and remove their individual bulbs. 

Invest in Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat can be automatically adjusted or regulated, meeting the most comfortable temperature of your workplace. Also, it gives you full control of your heating and cooling. Keep in mind that less air conditioning can lead to huge savings for your manufacturing facility.

Plant Trees Outside Your Facility

This idea is especially helpful as it can protect your office from chilly winds during winters and intense heat during summers. If your facility has energy-efficient appliances and proper insulation, the effects will be relatively small.


Through these helpful steps, you can undoubtedly see or notice immediate changes in your electric bill the next month. And because people usually look down on the little things they carry out at work, promoting energy issue consciousness and awareness is important. 

Moreover, applying these steps will not only help reduce your industrial energy costs but promote a healthy environment in your workplace. It’s a good idea to consult an energy expert to learn more about energy-efficient solutions you can employ in your workplace.

Blog SME Connect Blog 02/16/2020 7:32pm EST

Blog Post Comments

Edited to correct a typo.  LEED (not LEAD) is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  See


Thanks for posting.

You mentioned, “Keep in mind that leaks are one of the chief sources of wasted energy.”  That’s a great point.  Manufacturers can eliminate 100% of air leaks by eliminating all compressed air tools and the use of pneumatic cylinders – perhaps not overnight, but by opting for electric tools and actuators.  The use of compressed air tools predates the use of any electricity.  In the 19th Century, electric power utilities were scarce, but steam engines were a main source of industrial power.  Manufacturing plants typically had their own steam engines to power tools and to provide compressed air to also power tools that might be too hot to use if they were hand-held.  Ditto for the use of pneumatic actuators instead of steam-powered pistons.  During the past forty years, electric motor and actuator technology has advanced to a point where electrics are the way to go. 

I can make a similar argument for hydraulics that are also notorious leakers.  Forty years ago, hydraulic actuators were the most powerful and fastest available.  The robotics industry has done much to accelerate the development of “all electric” robots via the elimination of hydraulic power for robots.  Pneumatic actuators on robots have been in use where “cushioned” action is desirable, but new motors with sensors and quick-response computer controls can eliminate the need for such pneumatics.

All of your other suggestions are part of what is taught in LEED classes for energy efficiency and LEED certifications.  Another suggestion is the use of “green roofs” as implemented by the Ford Motor Company in at least one major new installation.  Green roofs greatly reduce heating and cooling costs and also water management problems that occur on the typically flat roofs of most manufacturing facilities.

Another suggestion is the installation of photovoltaic panels on factory rooftops and parking lots.  The panels generate electricity while also reducing the amount of rooftop heating, and also reduce heat absorption in parking lots.  That helps to keep automobiles cooler while they are parked and also reduces the amount of energy needed to cool them when they are started in warm weather.  In the “olden days”, some manufacturers had their own “power house” to generate electricity along with the steam and compressed air that I mentioned, above.  Installing PV panels and wind turbines and even battery banks can be a good long-term investment for manufacturers.