Case study

How to ease the energy crisis pain in your warehouse

Apr 20, 2022 | Uncategorized

Businesses have already incurred substantial costs over the last two years due to Brexit, the pandemic and staff shortest and now they are faced with spiralling energy costs. For UK warehouses the impact is significant given their size and even those we may consider as a small warehouse will face the heavy burden of sky-high energy prices. Soaring energy prices are indiscriminate, so here we look at effective ways to minimise these costs in your warehouse as much as possible:

Switch it off

How many pieces of electronic equipment or machinery are left on standby, eating into units when not in use? The cost of a single computer on standby may not amount to much but where there’s multiple plugged in appliances or equipment, the accumulated energy this consumes can be significant. By encouraging staff to turn everything off at the end of their shift, the equipment cannot eat into your energy units during none-operational periods.

Use energy efficient LED lighting

If you haven’t already, it is strongly advised to ensure all lighting is LED (light-emitting diode) whether that’s ceiling lights or section lights. Whilst these low wattage bulbs light up your warehouse you’re paying less and not only that, the bulbs last much longer than standard bulbs which means they need replacing far less frequently. The light quality of these bulbs equal that of other lighting systems and can often be better, depending on the variety you choose.

Warehouse with blue LED lights

Install sensors

In addition to LED lighting, sensors enable lights to turn on only when needed. This will ensure that areas within the facility that are not in use are not lit up until movement on entering the area triggers the lights to switch on. The sensors will turn the lights off again once movement has stopped within the area.

Natural light is completely free

Why pay if you can get if for nothing? Skylines are a good way of letting in natural light. The initial investment will see long term savings in energy costs as the natural light reduces the need to use powered lighting. Skylines are also a source of natural ventilation too, particularly during summer months because rising hot air has means of escape.

Use timers

Pay for heating only when needed by setting the system on a timer to ensure it stops running outside of working hours. Timers also eliminate the risk of accidentally leaving the heating on when not needed which can happen easily. A heating schedule on reasonable settings could significantly reduce consumption in comparison to a manual management system.

Use doorway air curtains

As a door opens the temperature with the room changes because either cold or warm air has been let in and although this is unavoidable when large openings are needed to allow goods to enter and leave the area, the impact can be minimised with the use of air curtains. These are multiple clear strips which hang vertically from the top of the opening, allow people and goods to pass through whilst keeping the majority of the opening sealed.  Particularly useful in cold and frozen chambers the air curtains help to ensure that the drop in temperature is far less drastic when the door is opened, reducing the energy consumption needed to maintain the temperature as the doorway is being used.

Introduce e-powered handling equipment

The suggestion of using handling equipment operated by electricity may sound a little odd considering we are trying to keep energy costs down. The price of petrol and diesel is also hitting an all time high, so now the cost of refilling the tank of the fork lift truck is much higher and you seem to be getting less per fill. The recharge cost of an eco friendly fork lift truck battery will be far less and save money in the long term even if this means an investment in a new electric fork lift truck. This will also contribute to a large cut to carbon emissions which is something all businesses are expected to work towards.

Install solar panels

As a significant chunk of your overall running costs, if there is a way to greatly reduce energy consumption, you’ll certainly want to know about it. Solar panels are becoming a common sight on the roof of warehouses and other industrial buildings and it’s no surprise given that these house energy hungry operations. Solar panels fitted to the roof of your warehouse will deliver free renewable energy so your operation becomes less costly and kinder to the environment. The long term savings are huge, making the initial investment worth every penny!

Utilise space

An energy efficient warehouse uses its space effectively in order to keep costs down and productivity high. Highly dense storage systems, particularly in temperature controlled areas are highly effective in keeping energy costs low. In the form of pallet racking or shelving systems these systems are purposely  configured to  store more within the same footprint area which would require less energy to light and to maintain temperatures. Given the range of deep storage solutions available, it’s certainly advisable that you speak to a WSL Design Technician who can visit you on site to carry out a survey. This will be of no cost to yourself and is the perfect opportunity to discuss options available to you and find the most energy efficient solution for your business.

Pallet Live Racking system

Encourage a team effort

The energy crisis is being felt by everyone, everywhere and because of the severity of the price hikes; everyone has become much more conscious of how they use energy in all situations. Your team may not need too much encouragement, however as humans, we often find it difficult to change existing habits. Implement friendly little reminders using emails and physical signage to help the team to remember the little things required to make a big difference.

How WSL can help you

WSL can’t reduce energy rates, but we can certainly help to you to reduce your usage. Producing money saving solutions with increased productivity whilst gaining maximum use of space has been at the heart of everything we do for the entire three decades we have been in operation. We look at each project requirement in great detail to ensure the most cost effective and sustainable solution is created with maximum savings on cost. Call 0113 2045350 or email to realise your bespoke energy efficient, space saving solution.

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