How to turn energy efficiency into profit

American facilities have found a potential new source of profit margin by becoming more efficient by cutting their monthly energy bills.

By Frank Healy, Fluke Power Quality Marketing Manager, Fluke Corporation

The owners of an average small- to mid-sized industrial facility could save 10%  on their power bill and $42,000 annually by auditing energy use and implementing recommendations to upgrade equipment and change operations, according to data from a U.S. Department of Energy program.

University professors and students in 24 locations across the United States are involved in the Industrial Assessments Centers (IACs). Data from those centers, the results of more than 16,000 on-site industrial assessments, suggest such significant savings, or even greater, are possible depending on the type of manufacturing facility.

For years, industrial and commercial facilities viewed their electrical utility bill as the cost of doing business. Then, those energy costs began to spike as fossil fuel costs rose to unprecedented heights – more than $100 per barrel in the case of oil.  Concurrently, energy efficiency technology innovations that deliver energy savings with no sacrifice in performance (and sometimes improves in product quality, production rate, safety, etc.) accelerated in development.

To learn more about energy, read “Energy audits, upgrades can boost profits at industrial facilities” from Control.

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  • How about natural gas? Why does it not get mentioned? Industry typically blows up the chimney 15 to 40% at what temperatures their combusted natural gas. Natural gas can be combusted to near 100% efficiency. Is reducing the Carbon Footprint important? The DOE states that for every 1 million Btu's of heat energy recovered from the combusted exhaust and this recovered heat energy is utilized, 117 lbs of CO2 will not be put into the atmosphere. Need to reduce electrical bills? We can also convert this waste heat energy into electricity. And then there is all the water that is being created during this Condensing Flue Gas Heat Recovery process, and this distilled water is very useable. There is really no reason to waste all this energy anymore.

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