Attention production companies: Six tips for saving energy

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In the spring of 2018, Les Affaires Content Services published an article written in consultation with experts from Énergir. This article, intended for production companies, presents six tips for saving energy. Discover this article below.

In the spring of 2018, Les Affaires Content Services published an article written in consultation with experts from Énergir. This article, intended for production companies, presents six tips for saving energy. Discover this article below.

The owners of small and medium-sized production companies can increase their profitability by reducing the amount of energy they consume for heating and ventilating their buildings, for producing hot water and for heating ovens. Keep reading to learn how.

1. Improve the building’s insulation

When you improve the thermal envelope of a building, you reduce its heat loss—and increase its energy efficiency. The improvements can include insulating walls and roofs, weatherstripping or replacing windows, sealing any air leaks in the building, and installing thermal screens (especially in greenhouses).

2. Maintain your equipment

It is crucial to have heating, ventilation and cooking equipment serviced on a regular basis. This prolongs their durability and efficiency. For example, business owners should hire professionals to verify that heating ducts are properly sealed.

3. Install high-efficiency appliances

Business leaders seeking to reduce their energy consumption stand to benefit from purchasing high-efficiency appliances, be they heating, ventilation or cooking appliances. For example, a bakery could save money simply by replacing their ovens’ burners with more efficient ones.

Agrifood companies, for which hot water represents a significant expense, should also consider modernizing their thermal power plants.

Moreover, new and particularly efficient heating technologies, such as natural gas infrared heating systems, now exist. These systems transfer heat toward people and objects, thus eliminating energy loss—this makes a big difference when it is warehouses, for example, that must be heated.

4. Control the ventilation

In Québec, the Act respecting occupational health and safety requires many types of work space to be ventilated, particularly businesses in the metallurgy sector. “Fresh air must circulate continuously, and this requires a dedicated system,” explained Marie‑Joëlle Lainé, Technical Advisor at Énergir, the new Gaz Métro.

To ensure the efficiency of such systems, Ms. Lainé recommends using control devices to adjust ventilation based on actual needs. These could be timers, sensors that detect fine particles in the air, or computers that program ventilation according to needs in real time.

5. Recover the energy

Companies can also leverage their ventilation system by installing a heat exchanger to recover the energy from stale air that is evacuated. This makes it possible to recover heat and use it to preheat the air that is blown inside the building in winter. Such a system reduces energy expenditures.

6. Manage the heating

Lastly, while heat does not always account for the largest part of production companies’ energy costs, it is still wise for them to optimize their heating system so it fully meets their needs. To avoid overheating, they can install infrared devices, for example, as mentioned above. It is also recommended to lower the temperature in buildings that are rarely used, such as warehouses.

The first step toward energy efficiency

To improve energy efficiency, business leaders should first assess their consumption habits. Ms. Lainé suggests they contact a professional to learn what energy efficiency measures could improve energy performance.

“Even if the purchase of a piece of equipment, for example, represents an additional cost, it’s a worthwhile investment. Entrepreneurs save on energy costs and benefit from increased production, thus boosting their competitive edge,” she concluded.

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