It’s that time of year again—time to think about fireworks, family picnics and (hopefully) summer vacations! While temporarily halting operations to allow employees to recharge and focus on routine maintenance is common practice, it also requires careful planning.
One of the most important aspects of a ‘temporary shutdown’ for your business to consider is to ensure that your company is not wasting energy while you are enjoying your time off.
Manufacturing facilities alone are responsible for spending $200 billion every year to power facilities and waste nearly 30 percent of that energy. While turning off all your machinery for a week or two will substantially reduce your usage, there are other factors that can drain your budget while your employees are away. To improve energy efficiency during your summer shutdown, we’ve compiled the most important things to keep in mind that can reduce energy usage and save money.
Before heading into your summer shutdown, don’t forget to check:
Make sure all lights are turned off throughout the building in areas that won’t be accessed during the shutdown. If possible, turn off any exterior lights with the exception of exit and security lighting.
Items like chargers, computers, lamps, air compressors and other machines and equipment not in use should be unplugged. Determine if there is more than one energy source that requires a multi-step lockout procedure. Make sure all necessary devices are in lockout mode and cannot be turned on until the shutdown is over. Redirect, stop or release all stored energy. Any power strips should be turned off.
3. Doors and Windows
Tightly closing and locking doors and windows conserves energy by not letting out hot or cold air from the building. This includes closing the curtains to keep the room at a moderate temperature.
Adjust to a moderate temperature that allows any employees or workers present during the shutdown to dress in accordance with the weather and not be too hot or cold.
In employee areas, such as restrooms and break rooms, check drinking fountains, faucets and toilets for water leaks. Turn off any automatic flushing systems. Also, check water meters and turn off water heaters if possible.
Turn off all manual and automatic exhaust fans and shut down any unnecessary ventilation fans.
It is extremely important to lockout all energy sources until work is completed so machines and equipment do not get turned on inadvertently, which can pose a serious safety risk to maintenance workers. Any potential energy must be relieved, disconnected and restrained for safety purposes. Be sure this is done by someone who is competent and aware of hazardous energy risks.
When it comes time to turn all your equipment back on, it’s important to stagger the start-ups to minimize a large spike in energy demand. Determine the order in which you will turn everything back on beforehand to be as efficient as possible. Constellation offers a comprehensive portfolio of energy management services to help companies use energy more efficiently and purchase it more strategically.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.