Energy consumption is often a big concern for businesses, as it significantly impacts overall operating costs. It can be hard to manage in many instances, and even harder to reduce, especially if you don’t know what appliances are having the worst impact on your energy usage.
Each appliance has its own energy star rating, stating its level of energy efficiency. Some appliances are worse than others when it comes to how much energy they use. So it’s crucial to ensure you are getting the most efficient appliances you can for your business to reduce costs as much as possible.
But, which appliances have the most significant impact on your energy consumption?
Heating and cooling
Heating and cooling solutions are generally the top contenders for most energy consumption, using a high percentage of energy for most businesses.
Many buildings suffer from poor ventilation and airflow or a lack of windows. As a result, many businesses find that come summer and winter, the heating and cooling is cranked up and is often turned on for most of the day.
Installing more efficient heating and cooling systems can help save businesses a lot of money in the long term. It would help if you also looked for solutions that offer better temperature control. Once the optimum temperature is reached the system can automatically turn off and only turns back on when the temperature changes. This will save energy from being wasted and means the system doesn’t need to be on all day.
As with heating and cooling systems, lights are often left on all day, and in some businesses, even overnight.
Often, even workplaces with sufficient windows turn lights on every day to get as much light into the workspace as possible.
Features such as motion sensor lighting can be good solutions for reducing energy consumption, especially in meeting rooms and bathrooms, which generally don’t need to have lights on at all times.
Switching over your light bulbs for more efficient options can help reduce your energy usage if turning on the lights all day is unavoidable. LED lights are much more energy-efficient than halogen or fluorescent light bulbs. They also emit less CO2 and require replacing less often than regular bulbs.
Removing excess lamps can also help lower your energy bills as it eliminates the temptation of switching on unnecessary lighting.
If your business has many desktop computers, this will be adding a decent portion to your energy consumption.
While many offices may require a lot of monitors depending on what the business does, look at where you could cut down. Do you have more than you need? Could you switch to using laptops instead?
Laptops consume much less energy, so you could consider replacing all the desktop monitors with laptops, or encouraging your staff to bring in their laptops to use every day.
In situations where it’s not possible to get rid of your computer monitors, make sure your employees are turning them off and not leaving them on standby to save on power at the end of each day.
Printers can also be a drain on your energy usage, so make sure these are not left on standby mode and are only turned on when in use.
There’s no doubt that a fridge is necessary for nearly all workplaces, but they can also be the worst offenders at energy consumption, as it is not something you can just turn on and off.
Get the best energy rating you can when purchasing a fridge to improve efficiency. If your current work fridge is quite old, it might be time to replace it with a new model, as its energy efficiency could have deteriorated over time.
It can be tempting to think you need the biggest fridge possible in a work environment, but if not many of your employees are keeping their food and drink in there, or perhaps you have a smaller team, you might be better downsizing.
Try to keep your work fridges as full as possible as this will actually help them be more energy efficient. An empty fridge uses up more energy, which is wasted as it’s not cooling anything.
It’s also worth checking the temperature setting to make sure it’s not too high.
For more information on how you can improve your business’s energy efficiency, check out our recent blog on how to reduce business energy costs.