Energy and cost savings. Advice for your business

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1 Energy and cost savings Advice for your business February 2012

2 Energy and cost savings start here At Meridian we re committed to helping you find ways to save energy in your workplace. Whatever business you re in, you have the potential to save money through careful energy management. By implementing some simple energy saving measures, you could reduce your energy use by up to 15%. How to use this guide We ve put together some simple energy saving tips to help you make the most of your energy. This guide includes advice for your: Hot water and insulation page 5 Lighting page 9 Kitchen page 11 Computers and office equipment page 13 Industrial process page 15 Motors page 16 At the end of the guide we include some information about monitoring your energy use, and a walk-through checklist. There is a summary of all the tips on page 22. About Meridian As New Zealand s largest renewable energy generator, we take our responsibilities to New Zealand and the environment very seriously. We generate electricity using renewable resources water, sun and wind. Using our resources wisely and efficiently today protects our environment and helps make sure we ll have ongoing supplies of energy for generations to come. Turning your heating control down 1 C can save around 10% in heating costs. 3

3 Hot water and insulation Hot water Check the hot water temperature. Cylinder thermostats can be inaccurate, so run a tap located close to the cylinder for about 30 seconds before measuring the temperature. The temperature at the cylinder should be 60 C (to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria)and 55 C at the tap (to prevent scalding), and needs adjusting if it s not (generally you will need to get an electrician to do this). Re-check the temperature one day after you adjust the thermostat. Regularly inspect the hot water pressure relief valve to ensure there is no excessive water overflow. Repair any dripping hot water taps they waste water and energy. Always fit lagging to hot water pipes, and if your electric hot water cylinder is warm to touch, install a cylinder wrap. Alternatively, consider installing an A grade hot water cylinder. Choose the right sized hot water system to suit your business needs. If you are closing your business for more than two weeks, turn it off. Fit flow restrictors to high-use hot water taps. If you have showers in the workplace, install water saving showerheads. Add a 7-day timer to any hot water boiler, setting it to turn on only during times of peak demand. Turning boilers off at night and over the weekend can save a lot of energy. Insulation Check all windows and doors for draughts, and seal draughts with weather stripping. Install automatic closers on doors that let in cold outside air (eg main entrance, reception, car park and delivery areas). This will help reduce heating and air conditioning costs. When refurbishing, look for ways to save energy. For example a draught lobby acts as a barrier between reception areas and the outside. Install insulation in your roof and under the floor to reduce heating requirements. No cost Low cost Some investment 5

4 Heating and air conditioning Clear space around heating and air conditioning equipment. This increases energy efficiency, reduces running costs and is much safer. Avoid using portable heaters if your office is centrally heated. If they re needed in certain areas or at certain times, find out why and implement a system to manage their use. Reduce heat loss by closing windows and exterior doors when using air conditioning or heating. Check seals on window and door frames, and block unused openings in the walls or roof. Turn off any unnecessary lighting. This reduces the need to cool a space. Only heat spaces while you are using them. Shut doors to keep heat in, especially at night. Aim to keep office spaces between 18 C and 22 C this is considered a comfortable working temperature. Check your thermostat settings regularly and ask your team not to adjust them small temperature changes increase energy consumption dramatically. Stop simultaneous heating and cooling of spaces this is very inefficient and not uncommon. Set air conditioning and heating controls so they don t conflict. Avoid placing thermostats near heat sources, as the unit will operate longer and use more energy than necessary. Heat sources include photocopiers, vending machines, refrigerators, factory machinery, display lighting, heaters and sunlight. Insulate your heating and air conditioning pipes and ducts against heat loss and gain. Add roof insulation if there is none, or insulation is less than 120mm thick. High ceilings increase heating and cooling needs. Use a fan to push warm air down or install false ceilings to reduce heating costs. Use timers to control heating and cooling for example start air conditioning 30 minutes before staff arrive and stop it when they leave. Mechanical ventilation and extraction fans consume a lot of energy so look for ways to reduce airflow rates. Check that timer settings and time clocks are correct and consider replacing existing units with high efficiency fans. Clean and replace air filters regularly. Install shades and awnings to prevent overheating and sun glare. Encourage staff to close blinds on hot days. Arrange regular maintenance checks of your air conditioning system. Recover and reuse heat wasted through ventilation, catering, cleaning or industrial processes. Seek professional advice to assess the viability of heat recovery systems currently available. Use a combined thermostat/timer/occupancy sensor to control heating and air conditioning in infrequently used areas, such as meeting or conference rooms. No cost Low cost Some investment 6 7

5 Lighting Turn off internal lighting after hours, especially energy intensive display lighting. Regularly clean lights and light fittings. Dirt and dust can reduce light output significantly. Install motion sensors on outside lights and lights in seldom-used areas, such as meeting rooms, bathrooms and storage rooms. Replace inefficient tungsten, halogen and incandescent lamps with efficient options such as linear and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). They use up to 80% less electricity and can last up to 10 times longer. Divide large blocks of lighting into separate switches, particularly areas near windows and in meeting rooms. This enables lights to be switched off when they re not needed. Replace old fluorescent lighting with more efficient tubes (eg T5s). Measure lighting levels to see if spaces are overlit. In rooms that receive a lot of natural light, consider using sensors to reduce artificial light. Use a timer for external and security lighting to automatically turn lights on at dusk and off at dawn. Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Lighting systems typically use around 35% of the energy in office buildings. No cost Low cost Some investment 9

6 Kitchen Appliances Encourage staff to use the microwave rather than the stovetop or oven. Make sure oven, fridge and freezer seals are kept clean, are properly fitted and are replaced when they re not working properly. Ensure there s adequate ventilation at the top and back of refrigeration equipment check the manufacturer s specifications on minimum clearance. Set the fridge temperature to between 2 C and 4 C, and the freezer to -18 C. If your fridge/freezer does not auto-defrost, defrost it at least twice a year to keep it running efficiently. If it frosts up quickly, check the door seal. Avoid placing your fridge or freezer next to your oven or in direct sunlight. Encourage staff to wait until the dishwasher is full before turning it on. Always use the economy cycle on your dishwasher if your dishwasher is able to heat its own water, use this function it s more economical than drawing water from the hot water cylinder. Old fridges are inefficient fridges they waste a lot of energy and money. No cost Low cost Some investment 11

7 Computers and office equipment Switch off equipment not in use it s the quickest and easiest way to save energy. Encourage staff to get involved in switching off. Computers Switch off screen monitors when you re not using them, for example during breaks or meetings. Enable energy saving modes on your IT equipment (for example standby modes). Uninterruptible power supply Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is designed to maintain constant power to equipment if the electricity fails. If you have UPS installed, check that it s sized accurately, as excess capacity will increase running costs. If you're replacing appliances in your business, purchase the most efficient ones you can, and ask your retailer to recycle your old appliance: Look for the blue ENERGY STAR mark the global mark of energy efficiency. This is awarded to the most energy efficient appliances of their kind. The yellow and red Energy rating label tells you how much energy an appliance will consume. You can save up to $100 per year per computer by turning it off at the end of the working day. No cost Low cost Some investment 13

8 Industrial Insulation provides heating and cooling with no ongoing operating costs. Heating Electricity is used in most modern industrial processes, particularly in heating, by: direct and indirect resistance short, medium, and long-wave infra-red radiation induction processes dielectric, microwave, and ultra-violet means. You can save energy by purchasing new, more energy efficient equipment or by improving existing equipment with timers and thermostats. Set appropriate operating temperatures for part-load operations to avoid long soak or overheating. This action can save up to 10% of energy use. Return on investment You can typically recover the cost to upgrade or install energy efficient equipment through: reduced operating costs increased productivity longer-lasting, better quality products Look at the overall cost effectiveness of each process and seek professional advice before you install new equipment. 15

9 Motors Before replacing your electric motor for a more efficient model consider the following: Make sure the motor is the correct rating and duty for the task. Keep the motor clean and ensure airflow is free of blockages to allow good ventilation. Clean all filters on the motor or driver equipment regularly, especially in food production or spray shops. Install timers, level sensors, material sensors or other controls for automatic operation and shut off. It may be possible to change the drive type to reduce energy usage. Altering gear ratios and lubrication type may also be beneficial. Regularly maintain your motors by checking belt and chain tensions as well as the motor itself. Replace oversized motors with correctly sized energy efficient motors. Motors consume the least amount of energy when they operate at their highest efficiency. Replace throttle controls with a solid-state variable system drive control and fan discharges with inlet vane controls. Phase balancing is important. Motor efficiency can be impaired if one phase of the supply suffers a voltage drop due to a badly balanced load. Reducing the distance between the motor and the application can reduce load. Increasing duct sizes or pipe diameters and reducing the number of bends and restrictions will also reduce motor loads and power usage. The majority of energy savings from motor drives are achieved by better matching the drive to the load (usually by using a variable speed drive) and by improving the efficiency of the driven load. Reduce motor idle time by identifying motors running but not in production. As well as wasting electricity, the life of the equipment, (including bearings and conveyor rollers) reduces unnecessarily, resulting in earlier maintenance periods for overhauls and repairs. A plant walk-through after production hours can determine which motors are running unnecessarily. High efficiency motors When choosing a new motor, select a high efficiency model. Typically any additional cost is quickly recovered through energy savings. Ensure a professional engineer helps you optimise your motor drive systems. No cost Low cost Some investment 16 17

10 Monitoring your energy usage It s important to monitor your energy use. Identify when your business uses the most energy, and what the costs are. Use this information to help make decisions around energy reduction. Regular meter checks While Meridian reads your meter regularly, we also suggest you carry out your own regular meter readings. Keep records so you can easily see any differences in energy use. If use suddenly increases for no apparent reason, investigate immediately. Waiting for your next energy bill may be too late to avoid unnecessary costs. Ask your staff Monitor all staff comments about comfort levels relating to heating, air conditioning and hot water. Increased feedback can point to a faulty system. Get your staff involved in energy reduction by setting targets and showing progress. Use your meter readings to populate charts and post these in the staff room. Consider offering an incentive to staff for helping to improve efficiency. Staff awareness Run energy awareness campaigns to encourage your staff to switch off equipment and lights when not in use. Use team meetings and training to inform them of energy saving measures you are implementing. Listen to suggestions and comments: they may raise issues you hadn t considered. Monitor and manage Walk around your premises each month to identify problems and check that energy saving measures are being implemented. Assess where improvements can be made. Vary the time of your walk each month to get a good overall view at the start and end of the day, at lunchtimes or on the weekend. Use the basic checklist provided (see next page) to assist you. 19

11 Energy walk-though checklist Look for each of these points in your monthly energy walk-through. Lighting Tick 1. Is lighting turned off or reduced in low-use rooms or areas? 2. Is natural light being used? Can you open up some blinds or curtains? Heating and air conditioning 1. Are windows and doors closed when heating or air conditioning is in-use? 2. Is portable heating or cooling equipment in use? Can it be switched off? 3. Are heating and air conditioning timers and thermostats correct? 4. Are temperature settings correct in different parts of the building at different times of day? 5. Are timers set correctly? (Make sure they have not been overridden.) 6. Are heating and air conditioning equipment, vents and grills clear of obstructions? 7. Is all unnecessary mechanical ventilation switched off? Miscellaneous 1. Are water taps dripping? (This is especially costly with hot water taps.) 2. Is all unnecessary equipment switched off? 3. Is there adequate draught proofing of windows and door frames? Specific to your business Listen to your staff they may have some great ideas

12 Summary of energy saving measures Below is a summary of all the energy saving measures mentioned in this guide. These tips could help reduce your energy use by up to 15%. For more details on each of the tips refer to the specific section of this guide. Hot water and insulation Turn off unused hot water cylinders Repair leaks water, steam and compressed air Reduce hot water cylinder thermostats to 60 C (55 C at tap) Fit cylinder wraps to hot water cylinders Install water-saving showerheads Insulate hot water pipes and valves Control water boilers ( zip ) to run only when required Improve window shading Insulate where necessary check for draughts Fit automatic door closers on doors that let in cold outside air Heating and air conditioning Ensure windows are kept closed when heating and cooling systems are operating Isolate unused areas Adjust temperature to between 18 C and 22 C Use timers and sensors, especially in low occupancy areas Check placement of sensors Use ceiling fans in high ceilings Stop simultaneous heating and cooling Regularly check and maintain equipment Kitchen and office equipment Use energy efficient appliances Check seals, temperature and location of your fridge (move it away from heat sources) Only run a full dishwasher Use energy-saving modes on computers Lighting Remove light bulbs in overlit areas, making use of natural light Replace tungsten, halogen and incandescent tubes with efficient options (eg CFLs) Replace fluorescent lights with high efficiency tubes (eg T5s) Label light switches and install additional switches so staff can turn off un-needed lights Install motion sensors for lights in low-use areas Use timers for security lighting Clean light fittings Motors Choose the right motor for the job make sure it s operating efficiently Install variable speed drives on pumps and motors match the drive with the load Clean filters regularly Regularly check and maintain equipment, including belt and chain tensions Reduce motor idle time Install timers, level sensors and material sensors for automatic operation and shut down Reduce distance between motor and application Management Identify peak energy use periods (consider an electrical demand management system) Monitor usage by regularly checking your meter Report usage and reduction targets to staff Involve staff in reduction and ask for feedback Walk the floor each month to identify issues and opportunities Remember: if it doesn t need to be on switch it off! 22 23

13 WE RE HERE TO HELP Meridian is committed to helping your business save energy and money. If you d like to receive more information about energy savings for your business, please contact our dedicated Business Team. Phone: Fax: Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays, between 7.30am and 5.30pm Website: meridian.co.nz EECA The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) offers information, advice and, in some cases, funding to help businesses become more energy efficient and save money. For information on how EECA can help your business save money, phone or visit The information contained in this brochure was sourced from EECA and was accurate as at January Printed with mineral oil free, soy based vegetable inks on paper from wellmanaged forests that comply with environmentally sustainable practice and principles. Please recycle. JR 02/12

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