A long-standing stereotype of factories as industrial, environmentally unfriendly megaliths is changing. That’s because the factories, and how they operate, are also changing. With further incentives for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint—and with more consumers interested in purchasing products from environmentally conscious companies—operations around the country are going green.
But this can be a difficult process, changing the way your factory expends energy to complete day-to-day operations. Below we’ve listed a few ways to begin to conserve energy, highlighting a few successful examples, and create greener operations. Though there are several areas for improvement—prioritizing paper recycling and improving distribution practices—we’ll primarily focus on efficient lighting.
Natural lighting is an inexpensive, often over-looked option when it comes to reducing the overall energy expenditure at your factory. With Energy Star reporting that the US spends $110 billion each year in commercial energy bills, it’s important to find sustainable ways to access the natural lighting and heating capabilities for your warehouse. By clearing windows on the southern sides of buildings during the winter, you can help heat the building with natural energy. From what EPA studies have shown, it’s important that your windows are used in a versatile manner, season to season—covering them at night and during especially hot summer months.
Timed Lights & Energy Efficient Bulbs
The EPA also suggests that commercial businesses purchase and use timed lighting that turns off when a room is not being used or occupied. Timed lighting, combined with the use of energy-conserving ballasts that increase the longevity of your lamps, will reduce your overall energy bill. Lights that automatically dim based on the availability of natural light can also help reduce your overall energy usage.
Many of the energy-saving suggestions from the EPA involve simple changes. Incandescent light bulbs should be replaced with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), as they are cheaper to operate and last far longer. Lights and equipment should be turned off when not in use. But, while the changes are small, the savings in heating and light bills are significant.
With the first installation of 33,000 solar panels able to generate 2 million watts of power for the community surrounding a warehouse in Fontana, California, it’s apparent that accessing solar energy can be a big boon to companies interested in becoming more energy efficient. Many warehouses across the nation are either installing solar panels or researching the possibility of solar-panel-instillation. While this can be a large initial monetary investment, the return, in the long run, helps companies capitalize on natural energy sources.
Given the relatively low time expenditures and costs required to make these changes, the benefits of practicing energy-efficient lighting are impactful and important. Reducing heating and lighting bills—as well as carbon footprints—factories can witness both financial gain as well as the support of energy-conscious consumers. As you work to design your factory for optimum performance and efficiency, consider employing these energy saving devices.