Simple changes create big savings at this manufacturing business

Last updated: 15 September 2022

A pharmaceutical manufacturer saved $23,000 a year just from simple changes like shutting down equipment at weekends and encouraging staff to turn off lights.

EGO Pharmaceuticals has been making skincare products in Victoria since 1953. Over the past few years, the business has been feeling the burn of energy price rises.

“As energy prices go up, so do our production and operating costs,” explained Stuart Haas, the Senior Technical Officer.

“We weren’t sure how to improve our energy consumption.”

Using a Gas Efficiency Grant, the company hired an energy auditor, who looked at how they were using equipment and processes to identify the biggest opportunities for reducing energy consumption.

“Using an external energy consultant made the process quick and easy. We were able to implement two quick wins straight away. Turning off our compressor at weekends saved about $16,000 each year and encouraging staff to turn off lights saved another $7,000.”

To save more energy, the company also invested in:

  • optimising the operation of the compressor including repairing leaks
  • adjusting the zoning and temperature settings for cooling and heating
  • monitoring energy consumption using submetering
  • upgrading the insulation for heat recovery on condensate pipes (using the grant to cover this cost).

An energy audit is a good investment

Getting an energy audit can be a great first step in moving a business towards a more efficient future.

The auditor’s report recommended changes to both organisational behaviour and manufacturing processes. Some were quick and easy to achieve and others needing more planning.

“We knew from our report that we could save energy, costs and increase the capacity of the business. Then we saw these big savings from two relatively simple changes. Looking for more savings as part of our business planning was a no-brainer after that.”

Sustainability boosts staff morale

Stuart says these changes have boosted staff morale.

“Our staff feel good about these changes. They like being able to make positive changes that reduce our business’ impact on the environment.”

The company used its newsletter to broadcast its efforts and got everyone involved using regular emails reminding staff to be energy efficient and turn off lights.

Increase productivity

An energy audit is a great way for a business to cut costs and boost productivity.

“We have increased our production numbers, and we can work faster without using as much water,” explained Stuart. “But as well as saving money on energy and water costs, we are spending less on putting in equipment like boilers and air compressors.”

Be a good corporate citizen

“This wasn’t just about saving money,” said Stuart. “We want to be a good corporate citizen and minimise our impact on the environment.

The company has since taken the TAKE2 pledge and has a sustainability plan mapping out future actions and is tracking accomplishments to date.

Find an energy auditor for your business

An energy auditor will review your past energy bills, your equipment and the way your business operates. They’ll show you where you’re losing energy and explain what you can do about it.

Find an energy auditor.