German Wrecking Company (GWC) is a small business that specialises in the wrecking and storage of Mercedes Benz and BMW automotive parts and panels. It differs from many auto dismantlers as it is totally roofed to avoid contaminated rainwater from car bodies entering the stormwater system. This puts German Wrecking in line with 'best practice' in this industry, but also increases energy consumption through increased lighting requirements.
Lighting is a major contributor to the energy cost of many businesses. The cost to the environment of meeting the growing demand for energy in the form of electricity is even greater. With ever increasing pressure on Brisbane’s air quality and environment, any strategy to avoid building new power stations and transmission lines through wiser use of our available energy makes good sense.
The lighting of GWC’s parts storage area was controlled from one switch which was often left on for the entire day. With around fifty 40 watt flouroescent lights, the parts storage area makes up a large portion of the entire energy bill. Staff were unable to switch off the lights after they had finished their tasks in the storage area as others would be working in another area at any time during the course of the day.
GWC’s solution to this problem was quite simple and relatively inexpensive to implement. The three different work areas had individual pull-down switches installed, so that the lights in any area need be switched on only when someone is working in that area.
The cord-actuated switches make it easy for the staff to switch lights on and off as they enter and leave the work areas.
Implementation of the above changes in switching has resulted in significant energy savings and a positive outcome for the environment through reduced energy use.
The company expected to achieve an annual cost saving of $160.00 in its electricity bills, which translates to a pay-back period of less than 3 years based on the project implementation cost of $450.00.
GWC plans to install skylights to take advantage of natural lighting for the dismantling area, as well as the upper floor level of its storage area, in line with its energy conservation policy. This project would be implemented by and at the expense of GWC’s landlord, who has agreed to the proposal.
On completion of the project, 21 flourescent lights in these areas will be switched off during normal working hours except for rainy or cloudy days. This will lead to an estimated annual savings of 2,153 kWh in electricity consumption or $263.00 in costs.