Reducing the amount of energy usage in the workplace can be good for your bottom dollar, as well as for the environment. And the good news is, reducing the energy consumption of your business doesn’t need to be complex.
There are many simple and inexpensive ways to lower energy use within the workplace. Review your current energy practices and consider some of these energy saving strategies you can put in place in your own workplace.
Computers and electrical equipment
All businesses rely on computers and technology to some capacity, and running electrical equipment adds considerably to your energy consumption and costs.
To reduce these costs, start by choosing laptops over desktops where possible. Laptops typically use approximately 80 percent less energy than desktop computers, making them a more energy efficient option for your business.
Monitor size contributes to energy consumption, with bigger screens using up more energy. While you may have some employees in roles which require a bigger screen, consider if some members of your team can work just as effectively from laptops.
Most modern devices have an energy saving mode. Use energy saving features on all devices, and keep in mind that screensavers do not save energy. Ensure equipment is turned off when not in use or encourage employees to put computers in hibernation mode when stepping away from their desk, whether for a quick lunch break or a meeting, and to turn them off at the end of each day.
Older equipment may not be very energy efficient, drawing unnecessary energy and costing you more. Upgrade all outdated equipment with more energy efficient devices. Look at energy star ratings to get the best efficiency you can afford, and keep in mind, the higher cost of purchasing more energy efficient equipment will eventually be recouped through energy savings in the long term.
Lighting can make up around 50 percent of your energy costs, but there are some simple ways to reduce your usage.
Limit use of artificial lighting, especially during the day when there is plenty of natural light available. Switch off lights in meeting rooms, bathrooms, hallways, and kitchens when not occupied, and make sure all lights are turned off at the end of each working day.
Consider investing in motion sensor lighting, so lights turn off when no one is in the room. This will help prevent them from accidentally being left on during the day or overnight.
Where you need to keep the lights on, change over to energy efficient light bulbs that use less energy, such as LED or CFL lights. It can also help to remove excess lighting that is unnecessarily wasting energy.
Heating and air conditioning
Control your heating and cooling to cut down on energy costs. Only use heating and cooling systems for limited periods of the day, and ensure systems are turned off at the end of the day, weekends, and holidays.
Keep your workspace at a comfortable temperature without using excess energy, ideally 18 degrees during winter, and 25 degrees during summer. Installing timers and programmable thermostats can make it easier to maximise efficiency.
Don’t waste energy heating or cooling spaces not being used all day, focus on areas your employees spend most of the day. Close external doors, and windows to reduce lost energy, and close blinds to keep in heat or cool air. You should also check for any energy leaks within the office where it may be being wasted.
Regular servicing, and cleaning of filters, ducts and pipes, will help your heating and air conditioning systems work at optimum efficiency. Replace old systems with more energy efficient models.
Promote sustainability in the workplace
Creating a culture that embraces sustainability in the workplace can improve your work culture and company reputation, as well as reduce energy costs.
Share your sustainability goals with your employees and get them on board to contribute to energy saving practices.
There are many practical ways to reduce energy consumption that your employees can help with that can make a big difference. Set daily reminders or place signs for employees to turn off electronic devices, computers, and lights when the workday ends.
Creating a more energy efficient workplace provides numerous benefits, from improving your business’ sustainability to being a smart financial decision.
For more information on saving energy in the workplace, check out our blog on whether it’s time for you to update your office appliances.