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The Maintenance Management Blog

March 09, 2015

Reduce Energy Use In Unexpected Ways

Reduce Energy Use In Unexpected Ways

One of the most surprising ways a computerized management maintenance system (CMMS) can help professionals in the reliability industry is by reducing energy bills and energy waste in facilities and manufacturing equipment. In today"s post, we are going to look at some unexpected ways you can curtail electricity usage.

While maintenance managers scramble around looking for ways to cut costs and improve production efficiency, they tend to overlook one obvious drain on a company"s finances and resources - energy consumption.

The easiest way to stop energy waste from occurring with equipment is to keep on top of your routine preventative and proactive maintenance schedules. This is because poorly maintained machinery does not function at peak performance, and as machines grow old or stop working properly due to bad maintenance policies, they require more electricity to run. Bottom line, take care of equipment so it does not become an energy hog!

The same applies for facilities. Maintaining your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system (including changing out filters and tuning up the system from time to time) will help save bundles and keep employees and site visitors comfortable.
Thermostat settings are another crucial area that takes little effort to control. Setting back thermostats at night, during the weekends (if the building is closed), and during work holidays will save money, as will adjusting the thermostat at each change of season.

it's just as important to make sure that vents are not blocked. If desks or bookshelves are blocking air vents or intakes, move them. If your ventilation system is not allowed to function correctly, it will throw off the balance of your heating and cooling system, causing it to use more energy.

While we are speaking about HVAC units, I would be remiss if I did not mention air leaks. Poor insulation and poorly sealed windows and doors causes heat/cool air to escape the building, meaning your system has to work that much harder (again, eating up more precious electricity). Consider consulting with a company that handles energy audits for some energy saving tips and to detect/repair any leaks in the facility.

Another area facility managers can look at to cut down on electricity use is lighting. Simple changes, like enforcing rules for light usage will go a long way to stop the waste. For instance, having employees shut off lights when they leave areas (think bathrooms and break rooms) or putting light switches on a timer system are both examples of this.

Replacing lights on a regular basis or setting up a schedule to check bulbs is another option. Flickering lights are best replaced, as they will tend to consume more electricity. Finally, if you have windows with shades, during daylight hours, open them up and let the natural light in. Take advantage of this vital natural resource.

Your best tool to reduce energy consumption is education. This applies to everyone: you, the management team, and every employee that works for your company. Train workers about the importance of proper energy management and make sure they make efforts to reduce waste. Set up realistic goals and monitor them. Consider awarding employees if those goals are met. And above all else, remember: a little bit goes a long way.

 

Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: CMMS, energy bills, energy wasteLisa Richards on March 09, 2015