How Can Your Facility Reduce Industrial Emissions?
The industrial sector makes up nearly one-fifth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. These gasses trap heat into the earth’s atmosphere, which results in global warming that’s known to cause significant environmental changes. To protect the future of our planet, it is important that all companies consider how they can reduce industrial emissions in their daily business operations. Here are some ways you can do your part.
Perform an Energy Audit
From outdated equipment and hose leaks to inefficient lighting, there are many ways an industrial facility can be wasting energy without realizing it. An energy audit can help you identify your major energy producers. The auditor will thoroughly review all your power systems and then provide various recommendations for reducing energy use without adversely affecting your bottom line. These audits are a great way to get a big-picture view of where your energy is going so that you can make more informed decisions regarding usage.
ENERGY STAR reports that businesses can reduce their usage by up to 30% with minimal investment. Some simple and inexpensive ways to improve your energy efficiency include:
- Switch regular incandescent light bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs.
- Program your thermostat to run only during business hours.
- Turn off unnecessary lights and business systems at the end of the day.
- When possible, use fans instead of the cooling system.
- Create energy-efficient landscaping—such as planting trees to provide shade.
Upgrading Heavy Equipment
Newer equipment will simply be more energy-efficient than outdated equipment. Manufacturers recognize the importance of saving energy, so many industrial leaders continuously work to improve technology to meet the demand for more energy-efficient machinery. After so many years—often around the 7 to 10-year mark—heavy equipment can begin to cost you more in repairs and energy expenses. These costs can add up fast, so investing in a newer replacement can reap significant savings for your business over time.
Using Solar Panels
Solar energy dramatically decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide are produced by the burning of fossil fuels. With solar panels, you will be able to generate electricity directly from the sun. Solar energy provides limitless power without the environmental damage caused by carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants that are emitted by fossil fuels. Along with massive energy savings, you also might be able to qualify for local rebates and federal tax credits to help circumvent the cost of the initial investment of the solar panel installation. Here is the Guide to the Federal Investment Tax Credit for Commercial Solar Photovoltaics released by the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2020, commercial businesses can earn up to a 26% solar investment tax credit (ITC) with a newly constructed solar system.
Keep Up With Equipment Maintenance
Without proper maintenance, your equipment will wear down much faster, especially in more demanding applications. This will ultimately make them less efficient, so they will need to use up more energy to perform their normal functions. For example, an engine that hasn’t been maintained will require more energy to operate to do the same job it’s always done—which will cost your business more money in power and, likely, repairs. Machines that are maintained well will not only use up less energy, but they’ll also provide your company with more years of usable service, extending your initial investment.
What does maintenance involve? Generators and other engine-powered equipment may need regular oil and filter changes. Inspect hoses for any leaks. Leaks can cost your business hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year in wasted energy. You should also regularly check and tighten all connections and replace any that have been corroded to reduce the risk of system failure. All equipment should be tested regularly to ensure proper operation.
Consider a Hybrid Generator
A hybrid generator has a much lower carbon footprint than traditional gas or diesel models because it uses renewable power sources like solar and wind. In an industrial setting, the hybrid is often used in conjunction with a conventional fuel Genset to handle increases in energy demand. This means your fuel generator won’t have to run consistently, so you may reduce industrial emissions overall.
A hybrid is also a great choice for those times when your facility has significantly lower power requirements, such as overnight or on weekends. You can use it to power perimeter lighting, security cameras, and other important business systems. It will reduce your dependence on the main grid, saving your company money while also being more eco-conscious.
Other benefits of using a hybrid generator include:
- Noise Reduction: A diesel generator can be as noisy as city traffic, but hybrid units tend to be much quieter. Reducing the noise at your facility can help minimize distractions and, in turn, improve production.
- Continuous Power: During a power outage, a hybrid generator can keep your business going without disruption. If your main generator fails or needs repairs, you can rely on your hybrid unit to provide the power that you need to maintain operations.
- Lower Fuel Expenses: A hybrid generator can greatly reduce your fuel usage compared to using just a diesel or gas generator for your business. By investing in a hybrid, you will make a greater environmental impact and save your business money.
One of the best ways to achieve more energy efficiency is to engage your employees. Design employee trainings that emphasize the importance of taking energy-saving measures. Put responsible employees in charge of tasks like shutting off equipment and lights at the end of the day. Reward employees who go the extra mile to reduce their personal carbon footprint, such as by carpooling with other personnel. All of these things can show your employees that you’re dedicated to maintaining a more energy-efficient workplace.
Learn More About Our Power Solutions and Reducing Industrial Emissions
Are you in the market for a new generator? Valley Power Systems offers a wide selection of power solutions to suit the diverse needs of businesses in California. Contact us today!