energy efficiency

How to Plan and Optimize Industrial Energy Efficiency

While some companies want to focus on increasing the efficiency of their production processes to get products to customers sooner, they may also want to look at boosting their energy efficiency. Incorporating energy management programs can help industrial facilities conserve energy and raise their level of productivity, according to a report by the SEE Action Network and the Institute for Industrial Productivity. As more companies aim to save energy, they could look into air filtration systems that will improve air flow within buildings to increase energy efficiency.

Amelie Goldberg, North America program manager at the Institute for Industrial Productivity, said industrial facilities and ratepayers can greatly reduce energy expenses through energy management programs.

“There’s no question that industry’s participation in energy-saving efforts is also helping eliminate or delay the need to build more expensive power generation, transmission and distribution capacity,” Goldberg said in a statement. “In turn, this means the programs are facilitating efforts to cut the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. It’s a win-win situation for all.”

Energy-efficient buildings can save up to 35 percent more energy than standard buildings, according to the federally backed Energy Star program. There are more than 5,000 organizations that participate in the program, including the top 10 largest U.S. health care organizations, colleges and universities and major businesses like Ford and Pepsi Co.

How to establish an energy efficiency plan

​Goldberg, who is also lead author of the report by the SEE Action Network and the Institute for Industrial Productivity, said companies need to start with an energy management plan to achieve high energy savings.

“Our research shows that the keys to success are making a sizeable commitment over a number of years, and ensuring there are strong strategic energy management programs in place in firms,” Goldberg said. “The energy savings achieved warrant the effort – they go well beyond those made by individual firms as part of their own energy efficiency initiative.”

Companies can take the recommended steps listed by Energy Star’s website to boost their energy efficiency:

  • Ensure you’re dedicated to saving energy
  • Determine your current energy performance and establish goals
  • Develop an action plan to increase energy efficiency
  • Enact the action plan to conserve energy and boost productivity
  • Monitor your progress
  • Celebrate your success

After going through the last few steps, companies should also reassess their progress to see how they can improve their energy efficiency. Companies could consider implementing tools like air filtration systems to optimize air flow and increase performance for heating and cooling systems.

Industrial and manufacturing news brought to you by Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc.

Poor Indoor Air Quality Negatively Affects Employee Health, Productivity

While employers may concentrate on employee management techniques that will help increase productivity, they may neglect to focus on a factor that will influence both worker output and health: indoor environmental quality. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines indoor environmental quality as the quality of a building’s environment when connected to worker health and well-being. NIOSH said this determinant of employee well-being is often influenced by air quality.

Numerous studies have connected the effects of air pollutants to worker productivity, showing impurities in the air may actually lower productivity and therefore economic growth.

Since worker productivity is often dependent on health, employees may feel less productive if air pollution is affecting their health, according to nonprofit Brookings Institution. Air impurities may have more severe effects as they could lead to more respiratory problems and a higher chance of infant mortality.

Removing Indoor Air Pollutants Increases Building Energy Efficiency

Another study published by the International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Technical University of Denmark suggested indoor air quality contributes to lower productivity because building occupants may feel uncomfortable.

The study authors found getting rid of sources of air pollution, such as floor-coverings, helped improve indoor air quality. Another method used to enhance the building’s environmental quality was to supply them with clean outdoor air.

Since ventilation is a key part of worker safety and productivity, employers should focus on providing their workers with adequate ventilation to increase air circulation and reduce the number of pollutants in an indoor space.

While authors said having higher amounts of outdoor air helped, the study found building energy use is significantly impacted by various efforts to reduce pollutant levels. 

“It is usually more energy-efficient to eliminate sources of pollution than to increase outdoor air supply rates,” the Denmark-based study concluded. “The experiments summarized in this article have documented and quantified relationships that can be used in making cost-benefit analyses of either solution for a given building.”

As an energy-efficient way to remove air impurities, companies should invest in air filtration systems to extract pollutants and replace them with clean air to enhance worker productivity and health. Since workers can greatly benefit from cleaner indoor air that could lead to higher output, companies may see higher revenue growth. 

By Chris Zehner

Indoor air pollution and air quality news brought to you by Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc.