Digital Lumens - November 2015 (MMH)

"How Tracking/Managing Energy Consumption Drives Real Cost Savings"

The spacious, expansive nature of the warehouse or distribution center (DC) makes it a prime candidate for managing energy consumption and cutting costs, helping companies achieve their corporate sustainability and environmental goals. While most organizations acknowledge the potential benefits of reducing energy consumption, and a good portion measure usage across various systems, numerous obstacles stand between these firms and the path to significant cost savings, many of them internal hurdles.

For most warehouses, lighting and heating consume the biggest chunks of energy, with lighting alone comprising 60 percent of the typical facility’s energy consumption, according to E Source. These systems present significant opportunities for manufacturers and distributors that want to minimize energy costs. And some have already turned to more energy-efficient systems -- smart lighting, motion and daylight sensors, and other technology-based solutions to help reduce energy consumption. For example, using intelligent LED lighting systems, a leading manufacturer of castings and machined products was able to reduce its monthly lighting bill by 85 percent. An aerospace distribution center took a similar step and has been able to shave its lighting energy usage by 90 percent in its 172,000-square-foot corporate design center.

Yet many others continue to pay hefty bills. Either unaware of the options, or unwilling to invest the time and money into these efforts, companies are missing out on the significant savings that many of their counterparts are already tapping into, and the sustainability benefits that are increasingly important to customers and public markets.

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