Energy efficiency has become an increasingly important issue for furniture manufacturers as energy prices rise and the UK has introduced policy measures such as the climate change levy.
Your business should have a detailed plan, including targets, to reduce its energy consumption. Areas within your business to look at closely include:
- compressed air
- extraction systems
- lighting and heating
- office equipment
Motors and drives account for two-thirds of the electrical energy used by industry. As motors can cost up to 100 times as much to run over their ten-year life as their initial purchase cost, it is worth choosing higher efficiency motors. You can also make savings by:
- switching off the motors when they are not in use
- reducing the load on individual motors
- reducing motor speeds as variable speed drivers can potentially save 30 to 50 per cent in many businesses
As compressed air is very expensive to generate and only has a 10 per cent efficiency in a typical situation, it is worth assessing how many compressors your business actually needs to operate on a day-to-day basis.
You should also educate and train your workforce to ensure that air is not taken for granted, but is seen as a precious resource.
You may need to meet requirements of emissions trading schemes.
You may need also to comply with legal requirements relating to the energy efficiency of buildings.