Save energy in your plastics and rubber manufacturing business

Energy and gas costs continue to rise, leaving businesses like plastics and rubber manufacturers feeling financially strained.

The good news is that manufacturing businesses can significantly reduce their energy bills by becoming more energy efficient.

Reducing energy use in your business can:

  • save you money
  • give you a competitive edge
  • create more business
  • lower your carbon footprint.

The figures on this page come from our Boosting Business Productivity program. We worked with more than 300 businesses to explore their energy use and minimise their energy costs.

Measure your current energy use

First, understand where your business is using the most energy, so you can find ways to reduce and save.

Based on the businesses we’ve worked with in the plastics and rubber manufacturing industry, the most common areas to reduce energy costs are:

  • sub-metering
  • insulating pipes
  • maintaining and optimising compressed air.

Learn how to measure your current energy use >

Ways to reduce energy costs

1. Install a gas or electricity meter on high-energy equipment

Some of your high-energy equipment might be using more gas or electricity than needed.

Install a gas or electricity meter to monitor use on equipment that uses the most energy.

The meter can show you how much energy the equipment uses and when. This data can be analysed to see if the equipment is working efficiently. You may find you can downsize equipment or determine when it needs maintenance.

Benefits

On average, plastics and rubber manufacturing businesses that install a meter to high-energy equipment found they:

  • spent less than $5000 on implementation
  • saved more than $8500 annually
  • took less than 1 year to pay back
  • saved almost 70 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Learn more about metering >

2. Insulate piping

Insulate heat, steam and chilled piping to reduce temperature losses, improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.

Benefits

On average, plastics and rubber manufacturing businesses that insulate piping found they:

  • spent less than $5500 on implementation
  • saved more than $7000 annually
  • took less than 1 year to pay back
  • saved more than 30 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Find more ways to optimise your steam and boiler equipment >

3. Regularly maintain compressed air and steam piping

Schedule regular maintenance to reduce leaks in compressed air and steam piping.

Benefits

On average, plastics and rubber manufacturing businesses that regularly maintained piping found they:

  • spent less than $4000 on implementation
  • saved more than $3000 annually
  • took less than 1.5 years to pay back
  • saved more than 15 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Find more ways to optimise compressed air equipment >

4. Install timers and operational controls to compressed air and refrigeration equipment

Some of your equipment may be running when it doesn’t need to be.

Add timers and operational controls to equipment that can be switched off overnight or when it’s not being used.

Find more ways to manage your compressed air and refrigeration >

Benefits

On average, plastics and rubber manufacturing businesses that install timers and operational controls to equipment found they:

  • spent less than $40,000 on implementation
  • saved more than $15,000 annually
  • took less than 2.5 years to pay back
  • saved more than 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

5. Invest in solar

Before investing in solar PV (photovoltaics), ask your energy provider if they offer renewable energy options. To get the most competitive offer, compare electricity and gas providers.

Power your site with a solar PV system to reduce your energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Clean Energy Council has a helpful guide to installing solar (PDF, 1.6MB).

Benefits

On average, plastics and rubber manufacturing businesses that invest in a solar PV system more than 100kW, found they:

  • spent less than $250,000 on implementation
  • saved more than $40,000 annually
  • took less than 7 years to pay back
  • saved almost 200 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

What else can you do?

Get an energy audit

Hire a professional energy consultant to review your energy bills and the way your business operates. They’ll identify where you’re losing energy and what you can do about it.

Through our Boosting Business Productivity program, on average, a business in the metal manufacturing industry:

  • spent $11,500 on an energy audit
  • identified savings of 28% of their total energy bill
  • identified $130,000 of annual savings.

Find an energy auditor near you >

Get recommendations for an energy upgrade project

Our energy upgrade tool does the hard work for you. It recommends opportunities and funding options, and calculates return on investment for your business.

Use the energy upgrade tool >

Upgrade equipment at a discount

You may be eligible for discounted energy-efficiency products and services, through the Victorian Energy Upgrade program.

To get started, contact an accredited provider.

Then, you can pay for the remaining cost with energy-specific finance.

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