Efficiency means using only what you need to get the job done. You’re probably already trying to use labor and materials efficiently. However, we don’t always seek to use energy as efficiently as possible, despite what we pay for it. Here are a few tips on how to reduce your office’s energy consumption, regardless of what type of business you run. Some of these tips can help you save on your energy bill at home too.
Carry Out an Energy Audit
A financial audit reviews your accounting records to identify potential problems like fraud or over-spending. An energy audit reviews your business, its equipment and the building to find ways to save energy. Perhaps there are leaky windows letting out your air-conditioned air. Or the old equipment you’re running is using way more power than you think. An energy audit will come up with a list of ways to save energy, and it probably includes things you need to fix, too. You may learn that strategic additions of insulation could cut 20% or more off your heating and cooling costs.
Recognize That Little Leaks Make a Big Difference
Little leaks add up over time. A dripping faucet wastes gallons of water. A door that doesn’t close all the way lets out a lot of air-conditioned air. Get in the habit of fixing the little things as soon as they’re discovered. It will make a difference in your energy bills and the comfort of your workspace. A side benefit is addressing issues when they’re easily and cheaply fixed instead of letting things deteriorate until there is a hefty repair bill.
Adjust Computer Settings
The best way to reduce the energy consumed by computers is to turn them off, but we may not want to wait for them to boot back up. The solution here is setting the computers to go into hibernation after a period of inactivity. They’ll wake up quickly if you move the mouse or hit a key, but they won’t use as much energy in hibernation as they do when fully active.
Look Beyond the Work Areas
In our efforts to save energy, we tend to look at the equipment we work with. Upgrading computers and copiers to more energy efficient equipment will reduce energy usage, but these may not be the items we use the most. For example, the hand dryers in the bathroom may be using more energy than the printer in the lobby. You might switch to paper towel dispensers to eliminate the need to run hand dryers altogether. While you’re in the process of making upgrades, consider putting in low flow toilets and touchless faucets to reduce water waste. All of this adds up to an eco-friendly office. You can check out this blog post on a eco-friendly office for more inspiration on making break areas and common spaces greener.
Upgrade Your Equipment
Factor the energy usage of your old equipment into the cost of maintaining it. You may find that the reduced energy usage of the latest generation of servers, computers and industrial equipment plus the cost of repairing it periodically gives you the business case to just replace it. Don’t forget to check out the office kitchen. You could upgrade to an Energy Star microwave and fridge to reduce energy consumption there by up to half.
Reducing energy usage will save your business money and only add to the bottom line. That you’re saving energy while also helping to save the planet is an added bonus.