Here are 20 steps from the U.S. Department of Energy that you can take this year for little or no cost, using in-house expertise. Simple changes can cut your energy bills.
1. Operate ovens and boilers at or close to design capacity.
2. Reduce excess air used for combustion.
3. Clean heat transfer surfaces.
4. Reduce radiation losses from openings.
5. Use proper oven or boiler insulation to reduce wall-heat losses.
6. Adequately insulate air- or water-cooled surfaces exposed to the oven and steam lines leaving the boiler.
7. Install air-preheat or other heat-recovery equipment.
8. Improve water treatment to minimize boiler blowdown.
9. Optimize deaerator vent rate.
10. Repair steam leaks.
11. Minimize vented steam.
12. Implement a steam-trap maintenance program.
13. Use high-pressure condensate to make low-pressure steam.
14. Utilize a back-pressure turbine instead of pressure-reducing or release valves.
15. Optimize condensate recovery.
16. Minimize air leakage into the oven by sealing openings.
17. Maintain proper and slightly positive oven pressure.
18. Reduce weight of, or eliminate, material-handling fixtures.
19. Modify the oven system or use a separate heating system to recover oven-exhaust gas heat.
20. Recover part of the oven exhaust heat for use in lower-temperature processes.
For more ways to save, visit the Industrial Technologies Program's web site at http://www.eere.energy.gov/industry/.