Improving the energy efficiency of your warehouse not only reduces costs and improves sustainability. It also demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility.
Improving distribution productivity is not the only way in which significant cost savings can be made. Managing your energy use within the facility is key to making the most out of the tools at your disposal. It is not necessarily a subject that gets people fired up, but given how much finance is spent on heating, lighting and powering operations, its importance is too often overlooked.
The Carbon Trust conducted a survey last year and found that half of the 1,000 SMEs questioned were concerned about the cost of their energy bills. The organisation believe that savings up to 20-30% can be found through the implementation of energy efficient measures and the simple changing of routines. Below are some of the ways in which you can begin to lower the costs within your distribution centre.
Improving the energy efficiency of a warehouse can help reduce costs, improve sustainability, and contribute to a greener environment. Here are some tips to help improve the energy efficiency of your warehouse:
Keeping the warehouse fully lit enhances safety and provides a better working environment for those who work within it. Naturally, this will mean a lot of lights, which in turn requires a lot of energy expenditure. LED lights are the best alternative to help reduce energy bills and they can also last up to 50% longer than traditional bulbs. LED lights can reduce your lighting costs by up to 80%. As a recyclable material they allow you to play your part in contributing to a sustainable environment.
There are two ways in which doors impact on energy efficiency. Their age and condition and by being left open throughout the day. When left open, heat is lost and heaters and/or cooling systems have to work harder to balance out the change in temperature. Older warehouse doors can sometimes be unreliable and slower to close, which is why the easier option is to leave them open. Ensuring there are no gaps or cracks is equally important. Also checking they are fully insulated to help maintain optimal temperature in the space.
Making full use of space
As we discussed in our article about mezzanine flooring, there are a lot of advantages to be gained from their installation into industrial spaces. One we didn’t mention at the time is energy savings. Working vertically instead of expanding operations across the ground maximises space and often means relocation is not a requirement. This obviously saves costs on the move and purchasing/rental costs, but also saves on the higher energy bills a new facility would naturally incur. If going green is a key business objective, new premises might also mean updating logistical roots and an increase in your carbon footprint.
Manage your HVAC system
In modern warehouses, HVAC systems are typically responsible for powering the heating, cooling and ventilation. Optimize heating and cooling systems by ensuring that the warehouse is properly insulated and that HVAC systems are regularly maintained and upgraded to more energy-efficient models. The most important question to ask is, how much time and effort goes into its maintenance? There are two answers to this questions; either you are spending too much on repairs and problem solving, or you keep the filters clean and schedule regular check-ups. Those who relate to the first response can easily feel the benefit of implementing a simple schedule for check-ups. Also think about areas not in use that do not need to be cooled or heated on a regular basis, as this should produce noticeable cost savings.
The management of waste has both a direct and indirect effect on your green initiatives. Ensuring unwanted and damaged materials are cleared from the facility keeps employees safe and maximises space. To improve your carbon footprint, ensure batches of materials are separated from each other and disposed of using recyclable options. The easiest thing to do is to dump everything in the nearest landfill, which ultimately goes against every over energy efficient change you may implement inside your premises.
Use energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators and freezers, to reduce energy usage and lower costs. The amount of money you can save by using energy-efficient appliances depends on a variety of factors, including the cost of energy in your area, the size of your warehouse, the number and type of appliances you use, and how often they are used. However, as a general rule, energy-efficient appliances can save you a significant amount of money on your energy bill. It’s important to note that while energy-efficient appliances may have a higher upfront cost, they can pay for themselves in energy savings over time. In addition, many energy-efficient appliances come with rebates and tax credits that can help offset the cost.
Efficient transportation within a warehouse can play a major role in reducing energy usage and costs. Here are some ways to improve transportation efficiency in your warehouse. Encourage the use of electric vehicles or bicycles for internal transportation within the warehouse, rather than gasoline-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles produce no emissions and are much more energy-efficient than traditional vehicles. Optimize routes for delivery and pickup to reduce the amount of energy used and improve transportation efficiency. This can involve consolidating deliveries and pickups to reduce the number of trips required. Improve the efficiency of loading and unloading by using loading docks with levelers and by implementing efficient loading and unloading procedures. Use energy-efficient material handling equipment, such as electric pallet jacks and forklifts, to reduce energy usage and costs.
By implementing these and other measures to improve transportation efficiency, you can significantly reduce energy usage and costs in your warehouse. Additionally, reducing emissions from transportation can contribute to a greener and more sustainable environment.
Install motion sensors that turn off lights and other appliances when the room is not in use. This can significantly reduce energy usage and lower lighting costs. Motion sensors can be installed to control the lighting in a warehouse. Automatically turning off lights when there is no activity in the area and turning them on when someone enters. By turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use, motion sensors can help save energy and reduce costs. Motion sensors can be installed to control the HVAC system, ensuring that it is only running when the warehouse is occupied. Motion sensors can also improve safety in a warehouse by illuminating dark areas when someone enters, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. They can also improve the efficiency of a warehouse by reducing the amount of time and energy required to manually turn on and off lights and appliances. Motion sensors in a warehouse can significantly reduce energy usage, improve safety, and increase efficiency. They are a cost-effective and easy-to-implement solution to help make your warehouse more energy-efficient.
Consider installing solar panels to generate electricity and reduce dependence on traditional sources of energy. Solar power is a clean, renewable energy source that produces no emissions and does not contribute to air or water pollution. By using solar power, a warehouse can reduce its dependence on traditional sources of energy, such as coal and natural gas, which are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. They can generate electricity for the warehouse, reducing the need for electricity from the grid and lowering energy costs. The amount of money saved depends on the size of the solar array and the cost of electricity in the area, but many warehouses see significant savings over time. Installing solar panels in a warehouse demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and helps reduce the warehouse’s carbon footprint.
Educate employees on the importance of energy efficiency and encourage them to adopt energy-saving behaviors. Behaviours such as turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use.
By implementing these and other measures you will be improving the energy efficiency of your warehouse. Contact 2HSSL if you need any help with any of the above.