Being energy efficient both at home and in the office is becoming increasingly important. Not only can reducing your usage be a great contribution towards saving the planet, but it can also save you huge amounts of money, which is quite often overlooked. Going green can also be a fantastic PR move for your business, seeing potential boosts to your public image, brand identity and customer trust. In the current climate of depleting fossil fuels and high pollution levels, action towards an environmentally friendly lifestyle is key for everyone, especially those energy customers using high amounts of gas and electricity, namely businesses. As such, going green is a high priority in the public eye.
The average medium sized business in the UK is said to use between 30,000 – 50,000 kWh of electricity per year, which is up to 16 times higher than the average home. As such, it is extremely important that we make sure that our offices see as much attention to eco-friendliness as our homes. In this guide you’ll see 7 ways in which you can reduce the amount of energy that you use in your office and save the company plenty of money along the way.
- Reduce printing
In the digital age, printing is no longer a huge necessity. With ever increasing numbers of people using their mobile devices, along with cloud technology, to store and view their documents, printed copies are now more of an inconvenience than a help. Reducing the amount of printing, or if you really want to cut back, the amount of printers in your office can really help you cut back on a number of different costs. These include:
- Maintenance and repair
- Electricity usage
- Optimise computers
Making sure that all computers are configured with energy saving settings can save you serious amounts of money over the year. Times such as when people leave their desk to go to lunch and when people leave hundreds of applications running on their computers at the same time will all add up to a quite sizeable usage amount if no energy saving settings have been configured. Screensavers are one of the main culprits: they continue to use a huge amount of electricity even when nothing is happening in the background. By just going in to your computer settings and changing your energy saving options, you can save a quite noticeable amount when applied over a large number of computers.
- Switch off at the end of the day
This not only applies to your computers, but for all appliances in the office. Huge amounts of money are wasted every day in offices across the UK by appliances been left on overnight when nobody at all is in the office. These things include lighting, computers, printers, water machines, vending machines and many other items. If you find that remembering to do this isn’t one of your team’s strong suits, then you could try using a timer plug socket that will allow you to set the times throughout the day that you’d like each appliance to be switched on. This can be a great idea for your water cooler, as it will use a considerable amount of electricity keeping the water cold throughout all hours of the day, and for what purpose? Just in case someone pops by at 4am?
- Switch your lighting to LED
Lighting makes up around 25% of the average office electricity bill , which means great care needs to be taken when thinking about the best equipment for the job. Previously, the majority of offices in the UK used filament style light fixtures, such as incandescents and halogens. Now that lighting technology has increased, we can greatly reduce the amount of electricity that we use just by upgrading our bulbs to more energy efficient models. By switching to LED bulbs in your office, you could be using up to 90% less electricity on your lighting.
- Motion detectors
In a similar fashion to the timed plug sockets, installing motion detectors in rooms that are frequently left lit when nobody is in them can be a great way to cut down on unnecessary lighting costs. It is frequently the case that meeting rooms and other isolated spaces are left with the lights switched on for large periods of the day when nobody is using them, which is part of the reason why 25% of the average office electricity bill is made up of lighting.
- Make staff kitchens efficient
Ensuring that your staff kitchens are energy efficient can save you a huge amount of money on your water, gas and electricity bills. One of the key additions that you should make to your kitchen if you don’t already have one, is a dishwasher. Not only is this a huge convenience for your employees, but it will generally also use a lot less water by washing everyone’s dishes at the same time. You should generally make sure that all white goods are as high as possible on the energy star rating scale. When buying new appliances, this scale will most likely be applied to the majority of items, meaning it is easy to see which are the most energy efficient.
- Adjust your thermostat
Many offices have pretty extreme thermostat settings, meaning that room temperatures are either way too hot or way too cold, attempting to combat the exterior temperature. The ideal office temperature for comfort and productivity is said to be between 20-21°C, which may seem to be quite high, but when applied with no external interference, such as wind and UV, it is extremely pleasant. Each degree by which you raise your heating or lower your air conditioning costs you money, so bear in mind the costs before you go crazy on your temperature control.