by Rajen KumarIndia's Manufacturing Muddle
What holds Indias manufacturing sector at the back foot? Why the sector has failed to emerge from the shadow of a strong service sector which has recorded a creditable growth in the...
Special ReportsMar 2014
When you have just decided to go ahead and chase your dream of higher studies, the one you had sidelined for quite some time now, you realize the road ahead is not so...
Can you save by spending ? Invest in an Energy Audit
Money saved is money earned !
Leaving a PC monitor on all night wastes enough energy to microwave six dinners !
Today, many SME's are just as concerned with how their factory performs as they are with how it looks. Though there are certainly plenty of improvements and renovations that focus on energy efficiency, knowing which projects are going to do the most good for the least money in your situation can be difficult. Thankfully, energy audits are able to separate the wheat from the chaff ! Factory energy audits are not the only resource available for those looking to improve their energy efficiency, but they are one of the best.
The Rise & rise of Energy Audits :
A compressed air leak the size of a match head wastes enough energy in a working day to toast 444 slices of bread!
Energy audits are more focused on commercial and industrial properties to spot the places where energy efficiency could be improved, and monthly utility bills could be reduced. Today, however, the citizen of
well ! Residential energy audits are called for all around the country by people who are concerned for the environment, concerned about monthly bills, and aware that efficient properties are likely to sell better. So you must not only look for energy audit of your company but also of your home.
Energy Audits Save You Money :
Lighting an office overnight wastes enough energy to heat water for 1000 cups of tea !
Of course, there are plenty of skeptics out there. For those with already tight budgets, hiring a professional who isn't a necessity is a pretty hard sell. However, when you look at the big picture, energy audits are not only good for the environment, but good for your finances, too. In fact, energy audits result in an average reduction of 30% off your pre-audit energy bills, making this ONE expense that will pay for itself in no-time.
How Energy Audits Works :
Switching off non-essential equipment in an office overnight saves enough energy to run a small car for 100 miles !
Once you make the decision to have an energy audit done, a certified professional will come to examine your company & home. He or she will check your energy bills, survey your energy usage, investigate your factory & home, and perform a number of specialized tests. With data in hand, your energy auditor will come up with a detailed plan of how you can improve the energy efficiency of your factory, office & home. Though this plan can vary widely from company to company even in the same cluster & in the same industry segment. Upgrading equipments & machinery in factory, home components like water heaters, increasing insulation, adding a programmable thermostat, installing weather stripping, and many other tasks often make such a list.
Standardized Testing for Energy Audits :
A typical window left open overnight in winter will waste enough energy to drive a small car over 35 miles !
Any energy audit worth its salt should include both a blower door test and a thermographic scan.
When conducting a blower door test, your auditor will install a large fan into the frame of an exterior door. When the fan is turned on it will blow air from inside to outside, creating lower air pressure in your factory, office, home & equipment and drawing in outside air through poorly sealed outclosures, windows and doors. It allows your auditor to identify where your premises & equipmet has costly leaks around doors, windows, and other areas.
Upgrade Insulation :
A photocopier left ON overnight uses enough energy to produce over 1500 copies !
In a thermographic scan, your auditor will set up a camera or other scanning device that takes pictures of the exterior and interior of your premises on an infrared spectrum. By doing so, your auditor will be able to identify areas where your premises is losing heat or letting in cold. This can help your auditor to pinpoint areas that might need more insulation, as well as places where your premises or equipment has sprung a leak.
The Cost of Energy Audits :
It dosen't cost; it saves !
Thorough energy audits are likely to run several hundred rupees, but since energy audits are useless if you don't take the advice, getting the most from yours is likely to cost a deal more. Of course, some newer factories will not need any large or costly repairs / improvements to be energy efficient, however, a factory that's several decades old will likely require upgrades.
The real beauty of energy audits is that they provide you a list that you can work on at your own pace. If your audit identifies 10 or 15 problem areas, you might be able to fix 2 or 3 yourself for very little, have a certified professional take care of 3 or 4 of the most affordable suggestions immediately, and tackle the rest when you have the funds to do so. Now several banks like SIDBI etc. are offering loans at subsidized rates for energy efficiency upgradation investment. Since the smaller improvement you can do right now will start saving you money as soon as they are performed, you can set aside a little extra each month to save up for the larger projects. Once performed, those larger projects will save you even more money!
Are Energy Audits right for You ?
You have the power; save it for the next generation !
Nearly every factory, office or home can be made more efficient. However, if your factory was built within the last 5 years and was designed with energy efficiency in mind, a energy audit is not as likely to produce as significant results as it would on a premise that hasn't been remodeled since the 70's, 80', 90's. While there's really no ultimate method of determining if a energy audit is going to pay off big, if you feel like you're paying too much on utilities or your factory, office or home is old enough to be wasting unnecessary energy, you're probably right !
Save money year round !
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The Last Word
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