Companies are always looking for ways to increase profits and reduce costs. One major cost that many businesses face is the energy cost associated with running the office. By focusing on saving energy, a business can reduce its office energy bill. Some key ways to save energy in the office include turning off computers and lights in the office at the end of the workday, having the office air conditioning and heating system maintained and tuned up regularly, and trading in older office equipment for newer, more energy-efficient equipment.
Here are several tips for reducing your office’s energy bill.
- Replace aging office equipment.
It is not uncommon for aging computers, copiers, and printers to use anywhere from 50% – 90% more energy than newer more energy-efficient models. Much of the newer office equipment available today will include an “Energy Star” logo, which signifies that the equipment bearing the logo is specifically designed to save energy and reduce cost. A general rule of thumb is to use laptops instead of desktops or ink-jet printers instead of laser printers.
- Power down at the end of the workday.
Even if your computer is in an idle state, it still uses power. The easiest way to help employees power down their equipment at the end of the workday is to connect all of the electrical devices at a workstation to a single power strip. Employees can then simply turn off the power strip at the end of the day and sever their workstation from using any power unnecessarily. Of course, employees should still properly power down any devices that require it, before turning off the power strip.
- Make good use of natural light.
Many offices can let in copious amounts of sunlight. Using natural light can allow for overhead lights to be turned off for the majority of the workday.
- Make sure doors and windows are properly sealed.
Weatherstripping around all doors and windows will prevent energy from escaping the office when either the heater or the air conditioner is running.
- Have the office HVAC (heating, venting, and air conditioning) system cleaned and maintained regularly.
A properly functioning and clean HVAC system will contribute to reducing your office energy bills in a major way. The dirtier and less efficient an HVAC system is, the harder it has to work to heat or cool an office. An HVAC system needs to have evaporators, coils, heat exchanger surfaces, and condensers cleaned every month. The air filters should also be replaced monthly. Most businesses hire a heating and cooling company to handle the upkeep of the HVAC system.
- Set the office temperature based on work patterns.
The thermostat does not need to maintain an ideal office temperature during non-working days and hours. At night and on weekends, the thermostat can be raised in warm weather and lowered in cold weather. The recommended temperatures are above 80 degrees in the summer and below 65 degrees in the winter. While you wouldn’t want to maintain these temperatures during work hours, there is no reason to maintain perfect working temperatures, when no one is working.