George Utz switches on to energy efficiency

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Manufacturer of materials handling solutions in plastic, George Utz, takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously and has a long-standing commitment to minimising its carbon footprint.  Having been awarded recently with ISO:14001 accreditation, Utz is keen to reduce its carbon emissions and respond to other drivers such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).  The company has made energy management a strategic priority and is already seeing positive results from its carbon management plan even relatively small changes are already making a big difference.   



An initial scoping study at the company's Alfreton site identified a number of energy saving measures which have been rolled out over recent months.  The company has focused on raising staff awareness and has integrated energy saving measures into its standard procedures across the whole business.   

For example, George Utz has invested in replacing the existing lighting units in its production hall with intelligent luminaries with sensors, which use 60% less power.  The new units switch off routinely after a set period of non-occupancy and also react to changes in the ambient light, automatically dimming/brightening accordingly, therefore maintaining a constant, pre-set level of illuminance.  ?

This has resulted in a substantial reduction in the company's total co" emissions of 41.8 tonnes per year, or 97,144 kWh to put that into context, that's enough to power 88 kettles per day, for a whole year!   The cost savings for this measure alone has meant a huge 6.5% reduction in the company's annual energy bill enabling us to make further investments in improving technology whilst maintaining competitive pricing, as well as helping the environment.  It is estimated that payback for this investment will be a little over 12 months.   

George Utz has also invested in alterations to its incoming system voltage.  Working with EME Power Systems, the company has altered its existing transformer, reducing its voltage by 5%, which has resulted in an actual power reduction across the site of almost 9%.  This has been achieved by optimising the supply voltage to best match the rating of installed electrical equipment, voltage being reduced from 433 volts to 400 volts and so therefore reducing the electrical losses and streamlining the efficiency of electrical induction motors.  It means that for every 122 kW previously used, the company is now using only 99 kW.

Further steps taken include fitting injection moulding machines with insulated jackets to reduce loss of heat during the production process, and close monitoring of the efficiency of air compressors to pre-empt and prevent air leakages and poor compression before they occur.

This project shows that even small changes really do make a difference.  George Utz continues to put in place systems and procedures to help monitor power usage and reduce unnecessary use, thereby reducing its carbon footprint substantially.

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