While we advocate an energy audit and a bill analysis as the best place to start when assessing and improving your energy consumption, there are some immediate quick fixes you can do within your office to help keep your power costs in check. The more electricity you can save, the more profitable your business can be.
If you are in control of your office heating and cooling, here are some practical suggestions to help you reduce your energy use.
- Use the power of nature. Open your blinds more fully in winter to let the sun in and take advantage of natural sunlight and solar heating. Conversely, increase the shade in summer.
- Upgrade your technology. For example, programmable thermostats make it easier to control the heating and cooling of low occupancy areas or out of hours waste. Also, try putting up heating or cooling by one degree this could result in 2-3% cost reduction.
- Be mindful of maintenance. When was the last time your system was serviced or your filters were changed? A dirty furnace or old AC filter reduces air flow and makes the system have to work harder for the same results. This inevitably consumes more energy. If replacing, buy a system with a a high energy efficiency rating.
- Reduce or replace inefficient, outdated or excessive lighting with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). According to the EPA, lighting accounts for a whopping 50% of company’s energy bill. CFLs use only a quarter of the electricity and last ten times as long so you will save on both counts. Put in company policy to switch off lights or use sensors to do it for you. According to the Alliance to Save Energy, savings can be as much as a 1/3rd to 80%!
- Use the right equipment. Consider using laptops rather than desktops. According to E-Source this will give between 80-90% saving on electrical cost. Turn monitors off when not in use. Screen-savers use as much energy as normal use so they are misleading – they can use 70% as much power as if you were using the screen for normal computing.
- Use power strips to connect your desk items to your wall socket. This will make it convenient for you to shut off all equipment before you leave. Idle equipment can still suck power like a vampire.
- Train and educate your employees. Education is a very effective way to encourage your staff to work with an energy conscious mindset. Most modern monitors, printers, etc. have built-in energy saving features (they will be labeled as ENERGY STAR©models). Make sure employees know how to use them to their best advantage. Encourage an energy-conscious culture in the workplace and you will see a big difference in the amount of wasted electricity from staff ‘buy in’ alone.
It doesn’t take a lot to make worthwhile savings on your energy bills. Sometimes small changes can have a big impact. One thing is guaranteed, wherever and whenever you are saving energy in your day-to-day business operation, you are adding dollars to your bottom line. See our article on why it is important to conduct an energy audit to fully optimize the savings!