Virtually all businesses use appliances or machines of some kind to produce their products and services.
Many of these devices (like ovens, washing and pressing machines, welding equipment, paint sprayers, electroplating units and refrigeration systems) are such heavy users of energy that they may actually account for more of your energy costs than all other sources combined.
Machines also generate secondary costs by increasing the heat load your air conditioning system has to deal with.
In addition to taking the steps discussed in this section, we suggest that you contact your equipment manufacturer, industry association or energy consultant.
If you use a lot of energy intensive processes in your business, you can calculate machine consumption by using meter readings for specific machines (if possible).
Or, you can figure the amount of energy used per hour by various equipment with the help of product literature or the manufacturer. (For some businesses, this process may be complex enough to require analysis by one of our representatives.)
A useful way of comparing the real costs of various machines is to look at their "life cycle" costs. This is calculated by multiplying the annual energy expenditure by the number of years the appliance should last, then adding the purchase price.
Using this formula, you can determine whether the higher initial investment for a more energy efficient machine is worth the cost. (For more on life cycle costs, see the section on Energy Guide Labels.)
Try these energy-saving tips when using machinery:
Specify Efficient Motors
Whenever you have to replace a motor, check to see if a more efficient model is available. In most cases, the premium you'll pay for high-efficiency motors will be paid back within a year or two. The larger the motor and the more you run it, the faster your return will be.
Economize on Elevators and Escalators
In many businesses, the motors for these types of equipment run around the clock. If there are periods when your elevators or escalators are used little, if any, contact the manufacturer about shutting off the motors. Timers and other devices can be installed to handle this task automatically.
Motor Maintenance Tips
Cut Cooking Costs
Almost every business establishment uses some type of cooking equipment, whether it's a small coffee maker or a completely outfitted kitchen.
Cooking operations use a great deal of direct energy. They also add to the load your air conditioning system has to handle, creating secondary expenses for your business. Try to put these ideas into practice:
Review manufacturers' literature on all refrigerators and freezers and follow all maintenance recommendations for refrigerant levels and cleaning coils and heat transfer surfaces.
Protecting Equipment from Power Disturbances
Modern electronic equipment such as computers, energy management systems, electronic cash registers and security devices can be extremely sensitive to fluctuations in electrical current.
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