This column was also posted on Inside INdiana Business.
Indiana possesses a number of advantages in its business climate. One of those traditional benefits has been energy that is adequate, reliable and affordable.
The inexpensive part of that equation has come into question lately. Industrial energy rates that were once among the five lowest in the country are now around the middle of the pack. Federal regulations – ones that often impact Indiana to a greater degree due to its dependence on coal – lead the way as a major cause for the increase.
All companies, not just heavy energy users, can more closely evaluate their usage and likely lower their costs. That subject is the theme of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Connect and Collaborate series – luncheons around the state this summer for Chamber members.
Here is some of the information being shared in the form of 10 energy-saving tips:
- Know your costs: Just as we hopefully do or should be doing at home, examine your electric power bill. You have to realize the source of your largest energy costs to be able to potentially have the opportunity to reduce those charges.
- Evaluate your contract: Is your current agreement the best deal you can get? You don’t know what’s possible until you ask.
- Lighting can be a hidden cost: Are you aware of what type of lights you use? Are they the most efficient? Are unnecessary lights turned off when not needed? Have you considered motion sensors?
- Air recycling: Heat rises, making it important to properly recycle your air. Have a professional examine your system. Efficient ceiling fans (or exhaust fans in warmer weather) could make a major difference.
- Avoiding the pressure: Steam and air pressure are common ingredients in many industries. Leaking joints, pipes and systems can be a huge energy drain.
- Water equals power: If you use water from a municipal treatment plant (or even your own facility), nearly 20% of that cost is energy. Examine your system to eliminate water leaks. You are paying for your water, as well as the energy it takes to process and move the water.
- Check the pumps: Workplace pumps are huge energy users. Assess your pumps – are they needed? Could they be changed out for a more efficient model? Would a variable speed pump make more sense?
- Transportation troubles: Another personal priority needs to be carried over to the workplace. Car/truck care in the form of proper tire pressure, tune-ups and other maintenance is essential. Companies with multiple vehicles are often well served by having someone responsible for the fleet.
- Proper planning: In addition to the modes of transportation, logistics are critical. Efficiently planning trips and scheduling deliveries will help conserve power and enhance productivity. This applies to organizations of all sizes.
- Compressing the fuel: Compressed natural gas continues to gain favor among many companies with heavy delivery schedules. An upfront capital outlay is often rewarded with a very timely return on that investment.
Chamber President Kevin Brinegar, I and a local business leader look forward to sharing this information and talking energy with members at each stop on our Connect and Collaborate tour. Your business could be the beneficiary.