Your employees are not experts at analyzing your energy usage. You can hire outside experts to measure load capacity, peak loads, cost rates per kilowatt compared to the market. They can also tell you all about how futures affect your electricity contract today. What outside experts cannot tell you is the experience learned from working in your shop. Each of your employees knows something and does not think about the waste until asked. Ask them!
Your employees know where there is waste. Ask everybody in your office, plant or company rented facility multiple questions about utilities expense because you will get unexpected answers and ideas. You do not have to go to experts to detect sources of obvious waste. All of your employees pay for lights, water and sewer at home so they know the irritation of an unexpected utility bill increase or rise of electric rates during the hot summer. Everyone on your staff has at one time or another studied or looked into different methods and alternatives to cut these monthly costs. Simply ask an open-ended question. How do we save on the light bill?
Questions to ask everyone about the company’s utilities expense:
- Do you have any ideas about how can we cut our electric bill? If you had to pay for our light bill, where would you cut first? Where do we waste money?
- Can you think of a place or department where machines run unnecessarily when they should be turned off? If you are not sure, what is your gut feel?
- Are there any machines that can be programmed to turn off or reduce speeds when not being used? Can a programmable device be used to accomplish this? (i.e. similar to turning off home lights when one is away at the office)
- Can you think of a place or department where lights are unnecessarily on all of the time? What specific areas need attention? Describe the details to support your answer.
- Do you think we waste electricity or gas, and if yes, where in the plant specifically? Describe the production line, machine, area of the plant, an isolated building or maybe the level of loading may need to be discussed.
- Have we had an analysis of our electricity usage?
- Do we have frequent outages? Does the rest of the neighborhood have the same recurring problem or is it an issue with our own facilities?
- Do we water the lawn, flowers, shrubs or trees too much? Do the sprinklers seem to be on at the wrong time, or too long, or do they not work and most goes down the drain?
- Do the toilets or urinals run too much? Excessively?
- Do we water the grass on the days it is raining? Does anyone know how to turn this off for the day? Has anyone trained you to divert this program?