There are currently more than 24,000 medium to large industrial organizations and businesses operating in Canada, operating in sectors including oil and gas extraction, mining, quarrying, smelting, warehousing, manufacturing, and so on.
Most companies operating in Canada’s industrial sectors use massive amounts of electricity and natural gas, resulting in annual energy costs in the hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars, and account for more than a third of Canada’s total energy usage.
As a consequence, finding opportunities to reduce energy consumption is a prime goal for businesses in the industrial sector
How Industrial Companies Can Reduce Electricity and Natural Costs
In a recent study, when large companies used an energy management tool created by the American EPA, participating companies saved an average of 2.4% per year on their energy bills In three years:
- A 46,000+ square metre office building saved $120,000.
- A school district with 75,000 square metres of affiliated buildings saved $140,000.
- A retail chain with 500 stores saved $2.5 million.
- A chain of 100 hotels saved $4.1 million.
The object lesson of the study was that on a large enough scale, even minor improvements in energy efficiency can result in significant savings.
While industrial companies use a significant amount of electricity and natural gas to power the industrial equipment that forms the backbone of their operations, a 2009 study by Natural Resources Canada found that space heating accounted for 50% of all Canadian commercial and institutional energy consumption.
This suggests that industrial companies can make massive reductions in their annual energy consumption by installing modern energy efficient HVAC systems. In addition, implementing the following steps can further improve overall heating and cooling efficiency:
- Ensuring that all buildings are effectively insulated.
- Installing double-pane windows.
- Replacing door and window weather stripping.
- Installing and using programmable thermostats.
Secondly, given that lighting and water heating accounted for 20% of total commercial energy use, additional significant savings can be obtained by installing energy efficient LED lighting, and developing energy conservation programs for employees. Such programs typically reinforce behaviors such as turning off unused lights, closing out-facing doors and windows, and making sure that water taps are completely shut off. While these behaviors may seem exceedingly basic, the simple fact is that many workers fail to recognize and remedy inefficient behaviors.
Creating basic conservation programs typically require little to no financial overhead, and even a modest reduction in energy consumption will likely more than justify the effort. (For example, a 0.1% reduction in energy consumption by an industrial company which typically budgets $1 million per year for its energy needs will see an annual savings of $10,000.)
Further Opportunities for Industrial Companies to Save Money
Many electricity and natural gas retailers offer energy plans designed for the unique needs of industrial and manufacturing companies. Examples include block pricing plans, which minimize risk while allowing companies to take advantage of temporary lulls in the energy market, and load following plans, which take a conservative approach and keep exposure to an absolute minimum.
However, choosing the right energy plan can be exceedingly difficult, given the many variables involved. Energyrates.ca offers free energy consultations for large consultations. We can be reached through our site’s contact form, or by calling us directly at 1-855-635-9608.