Some manufacturing companies, supermarkets, and other businesses have started to heat less to save on energy bills, while others are preparing to do so. Authorities and ministries have also recently announced reductions in workplace temperatures. Mainly manufacturing plants are going to the lower limit.
Due to the energy crisis, the government approved a regulation at the end of September that allows cashiers and assembly line workers, for example, to lower the minimum workplace temperature from 18 to 16 degrees Celsius.
Manufacturing plants are trying to save more radically. “Already last year, in response to rising energy prices, we lowered the temperature in offices and production halls to the values specified in the Ministry of Health regulation. We were surprised that we saved about 20 to 30 percent of the cost of the gas we use for heating,” Michal Uryč, a spokesman for the Slaný-based manufacturer of hospital beds, Linet, said.
He added that they have started to use more waste heat from production and heating with light heating oils, and they plan to use gas only when it is the coldest.
Similar measures are in place at the Witkowitz (formerly Vítkovice) engineering company in Ostrava.
“We will only heat the production facilities, as well as the offices, to the minimum necessary to ensure that the work of employees in the production areas is still bearable according to the hygiene regulations,” confirmed director Michaela Žvaková.
“Each extra level means approximately CZK 1.2 million per month for a larger production facility. At the same time, we will explain this to the employees, and I believe they will understand the situation,” she added.
Conrop Bolatice, a manufacturer and exporter of industrial bags, will also try to save money on heating costs.
“In our production plants in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, we are planning energy-saving measures in the winter months due to high energy prices in the heating of production areas, especially by insulating all areas and modifying workplaces in the form of mobile walls so that we can heat smaller areas in the production halls. We will also use the technological heat from the machines to a greater extent for heating the production areas,” Karel Pavlíček, Managing Director, said.
According to Pavlíček, non-production areas will only be tempered to the minimum technological temperature.
The Spack plant, which produces ketchup in the West Bohemian town of Sušice, has not lowered the temperature in production, which is currently set at 20 degrees. However, according to operations director Čeňek Kohoušek, the temperature in the warehouses has dropped by several degrees and is now around zero.
“However, the warehouses are semi-automated, so the change will not affect the employees much,” he said, adding that 130 people currently work at the company.
Because Spack also operates at night, they have focused more on reducing electricity costs. “We have fixed prices until the end of the year, but we have already taken measures. We have replaced all the lights with more efficient LEDs and are also acquiring photovoltaics,” Kohoušek said.
In services, more moderate measures
Service providers are more moderate in their measures and stick close to the standards to which employees and customers have been accustomed.
“To optimize energy use, we are setting the heating in our stores and offices to 19 degrees,” Dana Bratánková, a spokeswoman for the Billa supermarket chain, said. Billa uses temperature sensor control systems. However, they have tried to save energy before, for example, by installing LED lighting.
According to Česká spořitelna spokesman Filip Hrubý, the branches are now heated to about 22 degrees, just like the headquarters. The spokesman did not rule out other measures to save energy for heating or water heating.