By Gary Hogsett on May 31, 2018

Energy efficiency can improve manufacturers' bottom line

Here it is again.  Every month it comes.  And, every month it seems to get worse.  You don’t want to see it.  You know that you need to look at it. 

But, you’re afraid. 

You’re afraid that it is still increasing in size. You’re afraid that your manufactured product cost is growing as a result.  And, you’re afraid that you’re manufacturing business’s revenue will be negatively impacted. 

However, as the business leader, you must look.

You tear of the top of the envelope quickly, like ripping off a band-aid.  You take a breath, pull out the invoice and let out a frustrated sigh. 

Is the energy company ripping me off?  The energy cost to run the operation is so expensive.  What’s going on?

Manufacturing processes can require sizable chunks of energy including: cooling and heating, lighting and of course running the production line.  And, that can be a major expense for manufacturers.  However, in many cases, that expense can be reduced. 

Nearly 77% of manufacturers believe energy efficiency is critical to long-term profitability.    Many manufacturers also believe though that energy is a fixed cost of creating their product.  They don’t believe that they can do much to impact their energy efficiency and their energy bills, but they can.   

Often, manufacturers experience a lack of awareness, misinformation or multiple, shifting priorities.  And, small and mid-sized manufacturers are often short on time and money; two items that also impact their inability to review their energy consumption opportunities. 

I say opportunities, because for many manufacturers energy efficiency is an opportunity.   However, lack of attention to this opportunity and your business profits literally end up dissipating into the air. 

One of our customers, Central Solutions, saved $695,000 with their energy saving program. 

Another customer of mine in Kansas City called me.  His boiler unit was running consistently.  It ran all the time.  It was costing him a fortune.  He was in a small building, but it contained what had to be a mile of piping up near the ceiling.  It didn’t take me too long to find the problem.  And, it was a quick fix.    

I worked with a customer who had an increase in their energy invoice.  They had no idea why.  As I was talking with them, I noticed a sign on the wall.  The sign was placed there based upon misinformation about electricity.  Looking around their plant, there were signs on many walls.  After explaining about electricity and taking down the signs, their energy invoice eventually returned to what they experienced before.  An even faster fix with no additional cost.     

Why am I not telling you the entire story in both examples?  These are some of my best examples of how energy efficiency can be easy and inexpensive.  And, I am going to use them along with other examples in upcoming blogs and a webinar.

MAMTC is encouraging Kansas manufacturers to look at energy efficiency.  To support this encouragement, MAMTC is providing trusted advice on how to reduce your energy consumption and waste. 

Over the next four weeks, MAMTC will be providing Kansas manufacturers blog articles, a white paper, a webinar and in some locations, energy events.  Some of the content we provide will recommend simple procedural changes that you can do quickly on your own.  Other content will recommend solutions that are more intensive in time and investment.  In our pursuit of creating growth for Kansas manufacturing, we want you to be able to take advantage of the opportunity energy efficiency has to offer your business and boost your bottom line

Our energy webinar will be held on June 20th.  Click on this link for additional information and the opportunity to register.   REGISTER

Gary Hogsett is a Senior Energy Engineer at MAMTC.  Gary has two engineering degrees, 37 years of experience in energy engineering, and has performed energy analysis studies for more than 4,000 facilities.  He served as the State Energy Engineer for the State of Kansas, and also served as the worldwide President for the Association of Energy Engineers in 2012.