If your business is largely based on product shipping, odds are, you are no stranger to running warehouses with all the stock packed and loaded, ready for distribution among the customers.
Most such business owners immediately commit the simple mistake of neglecting the need to optimize their warehouse energy consumption or simply forget about it. Generally speaking, on average, energy bills take up to 15% of all operating costs within most distributional warehouses:
- On average, nonrefrigerated warehouses in the US use 6 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 13,000 Btu of natural gas per square foot annually.
- Refrigerated warehouses, on the other hand, consume an average of 24 kWh of electricity and 9,000 Btu of natural gas per square foot per year.
Yet, even the seemingly unapparent upgrades could lead to substantial savings - both in the mid- and long run.
Thankfully, Energy5 has you covered. We’ve compiled a quick list of tips you could use to minimize your warehouse energy consumption, save more on energy and streamline your expenses:
- Insulate the place. If you’re the warehouse owner or looking to conduct your distribution in the same locations for years to come, insulating the walls and doors could be a potentially good idea. The average warehouse size is now about 185 thousand square feet. It uses about 6 kilowatt-hours of energy per square foot. Some studies indicate that successful insulation would potentially save up to 35% of all energy expenses. It’s a good option if you’re looking into the long run and how your business can save more in the future.
- Install better lighting. For a space covering 185 thousand square feet or more, having incandescent or halogen lighting is simply unacceptable. It requires way too much maintenance, its lifespan is way too short, and the amounts of energy it consumes are staggering when compared to the modern LED alternatives. Lighting and heating costs summarize 75% of all energy expenses in an average warehouse, so carrying out a lighting retrofit seems like a good idea that will pay itself off in the long run. Besides, LEDs require nearly zero maintenance and are far longer-lasting than their traditional counterparts (on average, an LED may function 5-25x times longer). Also, switching from standard incandescent lamps LEDs might reduce required lighting energy by 80% to 90%.
- Don’t forget the HVAC maintenance. A clogged HVAC system will eventually result in thermostat changes. Even if the air in the warehouse is two-degrees warmer because of dusty HVAC filters and rusty parts, it may lead to a substantial increase in your utility bills. Annual maintenance will help you keep your HVAC in mint condition, thus helping you mitigate the possible energy expenses and keep them at the minimum.
- Find a better deal on gas & electricity. Don’t forget - the Deregulated Energy Markets give every energy consumer a chance to control where they’re getting their gas & electricity from. The Energy Industry landscape is constantly changing, with new players eager to enroll in the already-crowded market. There’s a high chance you’ll find another supplier that will provide you with a lower energy tariff, allowing you to spend less by cutting your utility bills. Just remember - looking for a new supplier on your own is way too time-consuming and confusing. It’s best to use a tool like Energy5 to find all locally available suppliers, compare existing rates and make the right call.
- Lights off. Unless your warehouse is not running 24/7 distribution for customers nationwide like Amazon, there’s a pretty big chance that it gets into the idle mode every once in a while. Monitor these occurrences and use whatever info you can gather to keep the lights running only when it’s absolutely necessary. Installing motion sensors in areas that don’t require lighting all the time is also a good idea.
We’ve covered the basics, so now it’s up to you to use this information wisely. Cutting your energy bill to save on energy is a wonderful idea that carries long-term perks for your business.
Try it, and we’ll continue updating you on the best energy management practices in the business.