When looking for ways to save energy within your business, a good place to start is with your office appliances.
Most businesses have a range of appliances and equipment including computers, printers, heater and cooling systems, and refrigerators, which are used on a daily basis. Some of these can use a significant amount of energy when turned on.
Determining how much electricity your office appliances are using can help you understand how much they’re costing you and find better ways to save.
Identify which use the most energy
Knowing how much electricity an appliance is using and how much electricity costs helps you identify which ones are costing you the most. This can help you make informed decisions when it comes to upgrading to more energy efficient products.
Desktop computers can be one of the biggest contributors to your energy bill. Switch off and unplug computers when not in use, avoid leaving them in standby mode, as this can still use up energy. The bigger the screen, the more energy it uses, so switching to laptops where possible can help save you energy. Another option is to use LED monitors, as they are more energy efficient.
Printers can also contribute to your electricity bills. Avoid printing unnecessarily as this increases energy consumption. When buying a printer, choose one with additional functions such as scanning capabilities, so you don’t require two separate pieces of equipment. Look for printers with an automatic ‘power down’ feature, this can help significantly reduce energy usage, and when not in use, keep them unplugged so they don’t continue to draw power even when turned off.
Invest in an energy efficient heating and cooling system. This is something that can be used a lot throughout the year to counteract the changes in temperature as we move through the seasons. On especially hot or cold days, the cooling or heating can often be turned on all day, dramatically increasing your energy usage and costs. Be conscious of when you’re using your heating and cooling system, and try to minimise its use when possible.
Another area of the office to consider is the kitchen. Most offices will have a kitchen space with at the very least a fridge, microwave, kettle and toaster. Refrigeration uses up a lot of electricity, and an empty fridge uses more energy than a full one as it has more space to cool. Keep your office fridge filled with water bottles when not filled with food to reduce energy consumption. Smaller kitchen appliances generally don’t need to be left on all day, as they’re only used for short periods, so make sure employees turn them off when they are finished using them.
Energy star rating
Many appliances come with an energy guide label. The energy star label is part of a government and industry initiative, aimed at encouraging consumers to purchase more energy efficient products.
The energy star label indicates the energy performance of the appliance, providing an estimate of the average energy consumption the appliance will use in a year, so you can estimate the cost of running the appliance. Though keep in mind that actual energy usage will vary depending on how the appliance is used.
Using this information, you can compare appliances and office equipment to find the most efficient model. Investing in the most energy efficient models you can afford involves short-term expense, but will provide long-term savings for your business.
Replace older, less efficient appliances and equipment with alternatives that have a good energy star rating to help your business save on energy. Some products with a good energy rating can use around half the amount of electricity as standard products, while still achieving the same level of performance.
As well as purchasing more energy efficient models, turning your appliances and equipment off is a simple way to save energy. Often a lot of appliances are left on all the time, or put in sleep mode overnight, which still consumes energy.
Avoid leaving your appliances running for long periods of time, and put in energy saving mode if the appliance has it. Equipment will generally also run better if turned off regularly, and may last longer.
Turning appliances off is something really simple you can do that makes a big difference. Put up signs as reminders to employees, or set appliances on timers so they automatically turn off when not in use.
For more energy saving tips and advice, check out our blog on strategies for saving energy in the workplace.