With an ongoing energy crisis and climate change affecting even our parts of the world it is becoming harder and harder to imagine a white and snowy Christmas like we used to have.
In times like these it seems more relevant than ever to evaluate your energy consumption – What if there are easy ways to contribute positively to a dire situation and become more energy efficient? The best kWh is the one that was never spent and in hindsight it is easy to ask – Why we have not done this sooner?
To Lead the Way
As part of a manufacturing company, we have a great opportunity to lead by example in the transition toward a more sustainable way of operating and contributing to society at large. Energy and energy consumption will be, and needs to be, on everyone’s mind in both the short and long term. Jerker Persson is the CFO at VPG and is used to deep dives involving numbers, but this was something new to him.
“It became very clear to me that we needed to do our part, look at the data and numbers, and really try to improve our energy efficiency,” Jerker explains. “I did not think it would be this easy to identify massive savings in terms of energy and therefore also spending,” Jerker adds.
As it turns out, even though an initial investment on new equipment will be required to facilitate the changes, the ROI (Return-On-Investment) is estimated to be just under a year. Which means that in less than a year the initial investment will instead be generating long-term savings for the company. Money which can be invested in the development of new products all while contributing positively to the environment and society.
Getting Help from Experts
In order to make sure we were doing the right things we sought help from experts in the field of energy savings. Ida Arvidsson, energy engineer at Öresundskraft, was a driving force behind the changes made.
When Ida is out on a job she works closely with the company as their input is crucial to ensure good results. The project involves tracking and measuring a company’s energy consumption closely, and it does not matter which energy provider the company has. “We install a number of trackers all over the premises and track energy consumption continuously, in different areas, over a four-to-eight-week period.
The most energy consuming applications or processes are usually identified rather quickly, she explains. That said, even after many years in the field, it can be tough to identify them in advance, which is why the measuring equipment and company participation is crucial.
At VPG, several opportunities for improvement were identified, especially the oven that is used when painting the lift tables and the ventilation for the spray boxes. And now, with simple measures like switching to LED lights, overseeing the operational hours of ventilation systems and installing timers, we will be able to greatly decrease our energy consumption. The 200A fuses were also switched to 160A fuses which not only lowers our fees it also increases the overall efficiency of the power grid.
“The changes we’ve made at VPG will save several hundred thousand kilowatt-hours a year and result in 24% lower overall electricity consumption,” Ida proclaims. Which for VPG means saving money all while contributing positively to the environment. “When the time comes, I have additional tips on how VPG can continue on the path toward a better future and even more savings,” Ida says and concludes the project, for now.
VPG aspires to lead by example in the transition toward a more sustainable way of operating and to contribute positively to the world, to help reduce the effects of climate change. Therefore, we hope that all our staff members feel inspired to join us in our efforts to become even better and more efficient in our future endeavors meant to help our planet. Every little bit counts.
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