Managing costs in the food and drink industry

For their latest issue, Yorkshire Vision put the spotlight on the food and drink industry. As a commercial gas supplier, we work with a lot of businesses within this industry, and felt well placed to provide our views on how such an energy intensive sector can look at their supply and make sure that it works for them.

With more than 15,000 businesses in Yorkshire’s food and drink sector, it is clear we are a region of creators, growers and providers, so we need energy. Part of our job as a commercial supplier is to work with our customers to make their energy supply more suitable for their needs. This means encouraging them to look at how they and their teams can keep costs manageable.

Start with the obvious: we know businesses have better things to do, but stay on top of your readings, avoid estimated bills that can inflate what you pay, or talk to your supplier about smart metering; a simple way to ensure you only pay for what you use.

A major benefit of smart metering is the opportunity it will provide for identifying inefficiencies; with access to your energy data in real-time, you’ll be able to monitor areas for improvement.

It’s also important to get your team on board, why not nominate someone to take responsibility for appropriate shutdown of machines and equipment to ensure you aren’t using more energy than you need to? This can be especially useful in industries where the operation of machinery, appliances and equipment can drive energy costs up.

It’s also worth looking into how you can make your infrastructure and technology work better for you. While some upfront investment may be required, you may find automatic lighting and heating would be useful. Timed solutions reduce unnecessary usage and there are many appbased solutions for managing your energy while off-site. Intelligent lighting systems can detect the level of daylight and react accordingly, so your electricity usage is managed more effectively.

A few simple tweaks to behaviours and technology could significantly impact what you spend on your energy over the course of a year. Too many businesses are falling into the trap of simply accepting the bill they’ve received, without considering what and how this could be addressed and improved. Make your energy work for you!