The low-hanging fruit in energy efficiency in your warehouse is to replace your lighting with more efficient options like LED lights, there are other strategies to reduce energy consumption as well. A good resource to look to for standards and ideas to become more environmentally friendly is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization, which certifies buildings that meet energy usage standards. Not all companies have a goal of “going green” but doing so helps energy costs to drop significantly.
You can increase your sales through an internet affiliate program, but you should also make your warehouse more efficient and cheaper to run to increase your net profit.
LED Light Bulbs
– The first step is to replace your warehouse lighting with new LED lights that could potentially reduce energy costs 50-70% immediately. Take it one step further by installing motion sensors for lights in areas that aren’t used as frequently and don’t always need to be turned on. This small adjustment can save an additional 70-80 percent. Last but not least, consider installing skylights for natural light during the daytime.
Air Conditioning & Heating
Warehouses in climates with extreme hot or cold temperatures are constantly using energy to heat or cool the building. Examine the heating and air conditioning units to ensure you have the latest energy-efficient equipment optimized for the size of your specific warehouse and temperature needs. A lower-cost solution is to simply change the color of the rooftop, which can make an impact on the building’s energy usage. A lighter color roof will reflect the heat, keeping the interior of the warehouse cool during the hot months. A darker rooftop will hold in the heat, requiring less energy to heat the warehouse. Ensure your HVAC units receive regular maintenance to keep costs down as well.
Depending on the type of business you conduct, your warehouse could potentially consume tons of water that is likely being wasted after it’s used the first time. There are several ways that water could be recycled to cut costs such as reusing it to supply water to the toilets or the landscaping. Another method is rainwater harvesting, recycling captured rain water the same way you would reuse any waste water from operations.
Renewable Energy Source
While not currently a cost reduction, soon renewable energy will be cost-competitive and allow companies to be energy independent or at least carbon-emission neutral (offsetting CO2 emissions by purchasing renewable energy).
- Solar Panels – Large warehouses have one of the greatest unused assets, their giant rooftops. This space, especially in sunny locations, is perfect for installing solar panels. Depending on the size of the roof, the solar panels could end up supplying 100% of the company’s energy needs. The initial investment could potentially reduce energy costs to practically zero!
- Wind Energy – One large wind turbine or several small units could also produce enough energy to supply a warehouse, plus even add energy back into the grid. Once again, the upfront cost is high, but the long-term return will pay dividends. This will be especially true when the current costs of energy continue to skyrocket past the cost of renewable energy.
With some simple adjustments and more intensive investments (remember—they pay off over time) your warehouse will be more energy efficient and cost-effective in no time. Good luck!
LED flood light courtesy of Wikimedia Commons