Operational Excellence
October 31, 2023

Working to make warehouses more energy efficient

14 ways to lower energy expenditures without compromising productivity

Warehouses have a substantial appetite for energy, with demands ranging from lighting and heating to the operation of essential equipment. This energy consumption is vital to sustaining uninterrupted productivity within these facilities. Consequently, energy bills represent one of the most significant financial outlays for warehouse operations. 

Discovering strategies to reduce your monthly energy expenditures can effectively lower operational costs and enhance overall profitability. Numerous energy-saving measures also can boost productivity and enhance the overall comfort of the warehouse environment. 

Xcel Energy has programs and rebates to help you get started. Here are energy-saving opportunities to consider:  

1. LED lighting: Energy audits often reveal that inefficient lighting design is a significant contributor to avoidable energy expenses within warehouse facilities. Replacing traditional lighting with energy-efficient LED lights can significantly reduce lighting energy consumption. To learn more about rebates available when you install energy-efficient lighting equipment, visit xcelenergy.com.
2. Smart lighting and motion sensors: Install motion sensors to control lighting, ensuring lights are only on when needed in specific areas. LED bulbs can integrate with contemporary smart lighting systems, featuring advanced functionalities such as occupancy sensors that automatically activate or deactivate lights in response to motion. Vacancy sensors can efficiently turn off lights after a predetermined period of inactivity, contributing to both energy efficiency and convenience. To learn more about rebates available when you install energy-efficient lighting equipment, visit xcelenergy.com

3. Natural light: Utilize natural lighting through skylights and large windows, reducing the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours.  

4. Energy-efficient HVAC systems: Use energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to regulate temperature and save on cooling and heating costs. Inefficient HVAC systems can significantly deplete energy resources within warehouse facilities. Because HVAC encompasses a complex array of components, engaging the services of an HVAC contractor to assess your existing system can be instrumental in identifying areas ripe for improvement. And don’t forget to check the air filter: Regularly replacing these filters prevents clogging, which can obstruct airflow and compromise indoor air quality. To learn more about rebates available when you boost HVAC system efficiency, visit xcelenergy.com

5. Insulation: Improve insulation to minimize heat loss during winter and reduce heat gain in the summer and make HVAC systems more efficient. Also be sure to check the integrity of your ductwork, as properly sealed ducts are key for ensuring seamless airflow. When certain areas of the warehouse suffer from inadequate heating or cooling, the solution might be as straightforward as replacing the ductwork to ensure it remains airtight. 

6. Energy-efficient equipment: Invest in energy-efficient warehouse equipment such as forklifts, conveyor systems and more.  
7. Solar panels: For warehouse managers interested in installing solar panels, Xcel Energy offers an incentivized Solar Rewards program in which annual payments are made to the owner of the system in exchange for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). In addition, all solar customers receive net energy metering benefits. For more information on our Solar Rewards program for business and residential customers, visit xcelenergy.com
8. Energy Management Systems (EMS): Implement EMS to monitor and control energy use, optimizing energy consumption based on demand.  
9. Energy-efficient doors: Install high-speed doors that minimize temperature fluctuations and reduce energy loss when loading and unloading.
10. Optimize racking: Organize the warehouse racking for efficient use of space and to allow for proper air circulation.  

11. Employee training: Train employees to be energy-conscious, encouraging them to turn off equipment and lights when not in use.
12. Energy audits: Conduct regular energy audits to identify areas of improvement. An Xcel Energy advisor can identify which assessment is best for your warehouse operation, provide guidance through the process and suggest low-cost services customized to your energy needs. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com

13. Green roofing: Consider green roofing or cool roofing solutions to reduce heat absorption and improve insulation.  

14. Recycling and waste reduction: Implement recycling programs to minimize waste and reduce environmental impact. By implementing these measures, warehouses can not only save on energy costs but also reduce their carbon footprint. 
For more guidance on boosting warehouse energy efficiency, including information on available programs and rebates, visit xcelenergy.com