Energy saving guide for manufacturers

Energy saving guide for manufacturers

The Carbon Trust estimates that you could cut the energy bills in your manufacturing operations by as much as 20% just by implementing simple, inexpensive energy efficiency measures such as using variable-speed drives, fixing leaks in your compressed air systems, and cleaning your refrigeration condensers.

Here are some easy energy efficiency tips to get you started.


  • Install variable-speed drives. These can reduce running costs when used for fans and pumps.
  • Invest in high-efficiency motors. These might qualify for tax relief through the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme and could also help you to reduce your energy consumption.
  • Maintain motor systems. Lubricate them where appropriate, and check belt tightness and alignment.

Compressed air

  • Consider reducing the operating pressure of your compressed air. A 1-bar reduction could save about 7% of the energy required for compression.
  • Switch compressors off when not in use. A compressor installation that is on when there is no demand will consume 20-70% of its full load power.


  • Check your door seals. A faulty one could increase the refrigeration unit's power consumption by as much as 11%.
  • Avoid using too much refrigerant charge, as this can increase energy costs by over 10%.
  • Clean refrigeration condensers. Dirty condensers can increase costs by around 26%.


  • Encourage staff to turn off lights when not in use.
  • Label light switches so that it is easy to see which switch controls which light.
  • Ensure that lights are switched off in unoccupied areas and when the premises are closed.
  • Make the best use of natural light. For instance, ensure window blinds are open in daylight hours.
  • Ensure security lighting time clocks change with the seasons. Fitting a daylight sensor control can also help.


  • Check the insulation on hot and cold pipework, and process ovens, for damage. Repair where necessary.
  • Check whether valve flanges are insulated. If they are not, install jackets - payback periods can be as low as 12 months.
  • Use lids on process tanks, especially out of hours, to prevent losses through surface evaporation.

Did you know?

  • If you reduce a motor's speed by 20% with a variable speed drive, then its energy consumption could drop by as much as 50%.
  • 12% of all the energy consumed by the manufacturing industry is used for heating buildings.
  • Tuning your boiler could save over £800 per year.



Source: Carbon Trust

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