According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the industrial sector has long been the country's largest energy user, currently representing more than one-third of the country's total energy consumption. With this in mind, manufacturers across the United States must identify sustainable energy solutions that will drive efficiencies. In honor of Earth Day, there is no better time to seal in the savings on your facilities utility bills and begin working toward your sustainability targets.

Do you want to reduce the energy costs at your plant? Dennis Sadlowski, President and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc., the U.S. industrial arm of German engineering giant, Siemens AG, recommends the following five easy tips for factory and manufacturing facility owners and operators to reduce their carbon footprint and start reaping the savings:

1. Do Your Homework. First and foremost, you will not know how much you can save, until you know where the money is being spent. An Energy Audit will help you better understand your energy usage and determine where your facility can go green and save money. Siemens specialists will come to your facility to identify key energy saving areas for your facilities current and future needs.

2. Rethink Your Lighting. By simply replacing your lighting with energy efficient products and controls, you can reduce energy consumption up to 50% as well as eliminate the risk of mercury contaminants in a very short period of time. Siemens offers a variety of lighting solutions and programs that lower utility bills and reduce air pollution. Siemens also offers lighting controls that help reduce your energy consumption with smart schedules and automated control.

3. Evaluate Your Motors & Drives. Electric motors are responsible for almost 70% of all energy consumed in industrial applications. This 70% holds a considerable saving potential that is just waiting to be realized. So why not start now by replace existing motors with energy efficient motors? Or save even more by adding variable frequency drive systems to the motors. In some cases, drives can contribute a 30% energy savings with a seven month return on investment.

4. Control Heating & Cooling Costs. As much as 30% of the energy used in your facility comes from heating and cooling costs. Making smart decisions about your facility's heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a significant impact on your utility bills. Simply adding Siemens' drive and control systems can reduce costs by as much as 25%.

5. Monitor the Situation. By knowing and understanding their plants' electrical footprint and monitoring energy use, companies can track their progress toward efficiency goals as well as establish benchmarks for achievement. With an Intelligent Energy Monitoring system from Siemens, you can keep track of energy usage across multiple locations from one central source to ensure maximum efficiency and control costs.
Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. is one of Siemens' operating companies in the U.S. Headquartered in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Ga., Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. manufactures and markets one of the world's broadest ranges of electrical and electronic products, systems and services to industrial and construction market customers. Its technologies range from circuit protection and energy management systems to process control, industrial software and totally integrated automation solutions. The company also has expertise in systems integration, technical services and turnkey industrial systems. For more information: