Farming, food and agribusiness professional services firm, Ifac, has come up with a list of practical things Roscommon business owners could try in order to save energy in these challenging trading conditions.
David Leydon, Head of Food and Agribusiness at ifac said: “Unsurprisingly, energy costs are a significant expense for food and drink manufacturers and the amount of energy used directly impacts the viability and profitability of these producers.
“Working with many food and drink producers throughout Ireland, we are acutely aware of how the drastic rise in energy costs is negatively impacting their business”.
David added: “It is important that you have an overall plan to conserve energy. Split the planning into two areas: short and long-term action plans. The short-term tips provided are quick fixes, which can be actioned promptly to make an immediate impact.
“Long-term actions can be used to ensure the business is continuously focussed and motivated to make a long-term change; ultimately resulting in your business becoming more environmentally friendly and attractive to new customers, and enhancing your profitability”.
Ifac’s ten energy saving tips
Track and Monitor
Firstly, it is important to understand and track your bills. This will show trends of energy consumption, times of low and high energy consumption and identify potential areas to reduce consumption.
Complete a full energy audit of your business. This will determine what energy you use, where you waste energy and how to reduce energy consumption. SEAI offers a €2,000 voucher towards a professional energy audit.
If you are conducting an in-house energy audit, temperature loss and the life cycle of appliances are key areas to review.
Review product portfolio
Focus on the lower-margin products, examine their manufacturing methods and determine if a cheaper, alternative manufacturing method could be used to increase the overall margin of the product.
Are there timers set on eligible appliances? Shut down any idle equipment and ensure they are not on standby. Review walk-in refrigerators and freezers and ensure they have curtains to aid temperature control.
‘Just in time’ approach
Be aware of holding too much stock in the business that requires storage/refrigeration. This will ensure energy is being used efficiently.
Change any incandescent bulbs to LED lights. LED lights are 90 per cent more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Use sensor lighting, when possible, to ensure lights aren’t left on unnecessarily.
Conduct a review of vehicles in the business to explore potential opportunities for moving some vehicles to electric. The benefits of this are lower motor insurance and a reduction in transport costs. SEAI provides grants for electric vehicles.
Changing energy type
Using renewable types of energy such as solar energy through solar panels should be a long-term goal within your business. This will allow your business to save money and become environmentally friendly.
Ensure to shop around with energy providers annually to allow your business to have the best price and conditions.