General manufacturing

Energy efficient manufacturing

Understanding and improving how energy is managed at your site can reduce your costs and cushion against future increases in energy prices. Effective energy management can also have productivity benefits, from reduced maintenance and machinery downtime to improved safety.

Top energy-saving tips

Variable speed drives (VSD)

Reducing motor speeds by 20 per cent can reduce motor energy costs by up to 50 per cent.

The installation of VSDs on machinery with motors (such as compressors, pumps and fans) can make a big difference to energy consumption and also allow for better control and sequencing in line with production requirements.


Energy submeters provide you with additional insight into your facility’s energy use that is otherwise unobtainable using the standard utility meter. They can be a cost effective way to help manage energy consumption and identify thousands of dollars worth of energy saving opportunities. Saving energy can be as simple as using submetering to identify equipment that runs after hours unnecessarily.

Submetering is a key part of best practice energy management, enabling continual improvement through regular tracking, benchmarking and target setting. The submeter data can help focus your capital expenditure to maximise energy productivity.

Automated controls

Installing timers, sensors and operational controls can stop lights, machinery and other equipment when not in use. Smart controls could save you up to 10 per cent off your energy bills.


For many manufacturers, boilers can account for up to a third of energy use. Look for opportunities to improve combustion efficiency, return and reuse of steam condensate, optimise boiler blowdown rates and recover heat where possible. Simple things like insulating pipes to reduce heat loss and regular maintenance such as leak repair can reduce energy use by 10 per cent. These gains are often immediate, or come with a very short payback period.

Compressed air

It is estimated that up to half of the compressed air used by industrial businesses is wasted. Having your compressors appropriately sized for the task at hand, along with regular leak checks and repairs, can lead to thousands of dollars in savings each year. Compressed air can be lost in a number of ways, including through system leaks, running compressors on empty production lines or using it for tasks other than their intended purpose, such as cleaning production floors.


Lighting can account for up to 40 per cent of energy costs in commercial buildings.

Investing in the latest lighting technology can often provide a quick win, with short pay back periods from lower power consumption and reduced maintenance.

Sensors and timers can stop money being wasted lighting areas that are not in use.

Replacing high bay or fluorescent lights with LEDs can achieve up to 70 per cent energy savings on lighting.

Lighting upgrades can also improve employee safety.

How much can you save?

Monroe Springs

Monroe Springs (Australia), an automotive suspension manufacturer, supplies its hallmark coil springs to
Toyota, GM Holden and Ford, and exports to North America, Europe and Asia. Energy efficiency improvements have slashed production energy needs by more than 20 per cent. This has increased its global competitiveness.



Inghams Enterprises is Australia’s largest producer of meat chickens and turkeys. Their energy efficiency projects at the Mitavite feedmill in Somersby are leading the way on better energy use.


Austral Bricks

Austral Bricks, one of Australia’s best known clay brick and paver manufacturers is saving around $250,000 on their energy bills each year, thanks to an ingenious project that reuses landfill gas.

How can we help?

Energy experts

We have a team of professionals dedicated to helping you save energy and cut your power bills. Understanding your current situation through an energy audit is often the first step. We can connect you with a local energy efficiency expert who knows your industry, is up-to-date with the latest technologies and can identify your biggest savings.

Training courses

Our training courses can help you reduce costs and make your business more energy efficient.

Online tools and resources

Our range of online tools and resources can help you save energy.

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Page last updated: 12 June 2018