How energy efficient is your machinery?

As a manufacturer, it’s only natural that energy consumption will take up a large percentage of your expenditure. But the big question is, what are you really doing to minimise this?

Good energy management is not just about renegotiating utility bills. There are other ways in which you can actively reduce your energy consumption and improve your carbon footprint.

As energy costs remain volatile with Brexit on the horizon, more manufacturers are beginning to recognise that even the smallest of changes can really energise their bottom line.

As a starting point to help you on your way, our Energy Management expert, Marc Charlton, talks us through the four key areas you need to consider and the changes you can implement to make those pesky energy bills fall even lower.

Motors and drives

“Older machinery could benefit from replacing larger electric motors with high efficiency alternatives, especially where they run for extended hours. Where existing motors fail and would typically be sent away to be rewound, consider whether it would be beneficial in the long run to replace with a brand new high efficiency motor, as rewinding motors makes them even less efficient and much more expensive to run over their operational life.

Variable speed drives can often help achieve substantial savings, even with existing motors, where it is possible to run them at less than full speed for a period.”

Heat processes

“Generating process heat can be a very substantial proportion of the total energy cost for many businesses. Temperatures and heating durations that surpass the required level can be a significant source of energy waste. Reviewing time and temperature schedules and periodically calibrating temperature sensors can help to minimise excessive energy use.

A further source of waste can be when heat energy is supplied to a process, but potentially useful heat escapes to the surroundings. The use of a thermal imaging camera can identify heat losses in ventilation extract systems, through the walls and openings of furnaces or through the surfaces of storage tanks and distribution pipework. A survey with an infra-red thermal imaging camera can help to identify these sources of waste, which can be rectified easily and cheaply.”

Compressed air

“Compressed air is a very energy intensive and expensive service to produce. Excessive line pressures and air leaks can constitute a significant proportion of the total compressed air load, which can often be reduced easily and at very minimal expense. A survey with an ultrasonic detector can help identify the sources of air leaks. Variable speed compressors can better match supply to the demand for compressed air. In a multiple-compressor set up, it may be possible to specify and commission just one variable speed compressor to meet the variable proportion of the demand.

Compressor location can be important, as compressors work more efficiently when the intake is unrestricted and cooler air is available.”


“Where factory floors and external areas are illuminated with older gas discharge type lighting (sodium and metal halide, for example), the installation of LED lighting can reduce electricity costs substantially. Additional benefits also include improved light quality and greatly increased lamp life, which can reduce lifetime maintenance costs. In large refrigerated storage areas, reducing the installed power of the lighting also reduces the energy required for cooling.”

We understand how complex these issues can be, especially if you lack the skills or expertise in-house to manage this.

This is where Great Annuals Savings comes in.

Our team of Energy Management experts are on hand to help you every step of the way. Although the process may sound complex and expensive, it’s actually surprisingly affordable considering the hardware listed. Whether you require a basic entry-level factory audit, or aid in developing a more comprehensive long-term energy plan, our team are here for you.

To find out more about how we can help you save, call us today on 0800 130 3514 or simply drop us an email.

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

About Paul

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.