Commercial customers have energy needs that are unique and vary widely depending on the industry or business. Finding ways to save energy can mean big operational energy savings, a smaller carbon footprint and improved profitability. Businesses can qualify for efficiency programs and earn rebates for energy-saving purchases when they consider new machinery or appliances to improve operations and conserve energy.
Pioneer is committed to being your community-owned resource and to helping our commercial customers research and implement options to save money on their energy bills. We’ve curated information from specific industries and provided energy-saving tips and tricks which reduce consumption and ultimately improve your bottom line. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR program provided many of the cost and energy-saving recommendations found here.
A major consumer of energy on farms is the use of motors. In California, 55 percent of farm motors are powered by petrol. The remaining 45 percent are powered by electricity. Taking steps today to conserve energy on farms from motor consumption will go a long way toward environmental conservation efforts.
The first step in saving energy is to reduce motor use in the first place. This can be done in a number of ways, including:
Using a variable speed drive on a farm is one way of saving on a farm’s energy expenditures. Variable speed drives are crucial for certain farm machinery such as vacuum pumps. This is because this machinery operates at full speeds for maximum capacity loads, even though the maximum capacity may not be utilized.
Modern vacuum pumps that utilize variable speed drives are able to change pump capacity to meet the required needs. These drives are fixed to a motor and act as a speed regulator. The energy efficiency of these drives allows for energy savings of 50 to 80 percent. A conventional vacuum pump always operates at maximum capacity and uses a regulator to draw extra air into the system. A variable speed drive on the other hand will be able to match the amount of actual air in the system with pump speed. This is achieved by regulating the speed of the motor instead of trying to regulate the system vacuum level.
Variable Speed Drives have the added benefit of being quieter than regular drives. Since variable speed drives slow the average speed of the pump to less than half the constant speed, it reduces the amount of wear and tear that a pump might otherwise be subjected to. Pumps with variable speed drives do not require constant oil lubrication of the pump cavity and thus decrease the number of oil-related pollutants that could potentially contaminate the soil near a pump’s exhaust port.
Use a vat wrap to insulate your milk storage container. Vat wraps help insulate milk storage containers and can lead to energy savings of up to 20 percent. Using a heat recovery system can also reduce water heating costs by as much as 50 percent.
Milk needs to be cooled from a temperature of 98F to 40F to prevent spoiling. Using a plate cooler helps substantially reduce the temperature of the milk in a short amount of time. These coolers reduce the demand for dairy cooler compressors and help in lowering the bacterial count in the milk. Simultaneously the system also manages to pre-warm water that may be used for other purposes. Factors that affect the system include the temperature of the water and the ratio of water to milk in gallons per minute. The number of times the milk will pass through the cold water channels also affect the effectiveness of the system.
These tips have been compiled from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR program. If you have any questions about other ways to reduce your energy bills, please contact your Pioneer Community Energy team by email at email@example.com or by phone at (916) 758-8969.