Published On: Wed, Jan 15th, 2014

Six Simple Energy Saving Tips for Your Workplace

Many workplaces are racking up energy bills of up to hundreds of dollars more than is necessary without even realizing it. When energy saving policies aren’t in place and strategies to save energy are not kept to, heat can escape, causing heating systems to work harder, and computers, lights, and other electrical appliances that are left on even when not in use can soon start to add even more numbers to the energy bill. Thankfully, there are many things that any employee can do to ensure that their workplace is energy efficient, as a result helping to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Here are some top tips for being more energy efficient at work.

1. Close Doors and Windows

Leaving windows and doors open can easily cause warm or cool air to escape, meaning that the heating or cooling system has to work even harder to keep the room at the desired temperature – adding more to your workplace’s energy bill. Making sure that doors to rooms and offices are closed at all times or at least as much as possible is vital to keeping energy usage down, and windows should be kept closed when possible and checked regularly to ensure that they are properly sealed and have no cracks or defects which could be letting warm air escape. If you notice a window with cracked or worn sealant, you should notify your manager or a member of the maintenance team.

2. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

If you are in a position to choose the kind of light bulbs used in your office, the best choice to make is energy efficient ones. These light bulbs use up a significantly less percentage of energy than traditional bulbs, and switching just one bulb to an energy-efficient one could save you around $5 per year – that’s a lot when you think of the amount of light bulbs in your building! They are recommended by many commercial energy companies. Learn more here.

3. Don’t Leave Computers in Standby

Many employees make the mistake of leaving their computers in standby or sleep mode for long periods of time when not in use, or even overnight ready for their use the next morning. The problem with this is that computers which are switched into standby or sleep mode still use energy, and when you think of the amount of computers which don’t get switched off overnight in your office, you can only imagine the contribution it is making to the business energy bill. In order to make sure that costs are kept as low as possible, make sure that computers and other electrical appliances are switched off whenever they are not in use. Even better, use a laptop computer instead of a desktop PC whenever possible – because laptops can be charged and are portable, they use up to 80% less energy than a standard desktop PC.

4. Unplug Appliances and Machinery Overnight

Did you know that even when unplugged most appliances, machinery and electronics still draw some amount of electricity? For example, most sales and service reps are assigned cell phones to take when out in the field. That seemingly innocuous charger plugged into the wall still draws approximately .26 Watts when plugged in and the phone is not attached and when a completely charged phone is left in it draws over 2 Watts of power. That may not seem like a lot but when multiple cell phone chargers are left plugged in, that amount can quickly add up. Then, combine that wasted energy with all the other examples included above and below and your company’s power bill can climb sky high.

5. Upgrade to Energy Star Efficient Office Equipment

Older office equipment is most likely to draw more electricity than state-of-the-art Energy Star efficient office equipment developed within the past few years. According to energystar.gov, the amount of energy saved by replacing home office equipment to Energy Star equipment would total over $100 million annually. But, that’s just home offices! If you tallied into that figure all the offices in businesses around the country, that figure would probably triple or quadruple at the very least. The money you save in electricity by replacing those dinosaurs would more than compensate for the cost to upgrade.

6. Be Conservative with Thermostat Settings

Again, deferring to the Department of Energy, you should keep your workplace thermostat set at 68 during winter hours of operation and lower by ten to fifteen degrees when the place is closed. In the hot summer months, keep the thermostat set at 78 degrees when your business is open and higher by ten to fifteen degrees when closed. By doing this you can save anywhere from 10% to 15% of your average power bill. Over the course of a year that could save your business quite a lot of money, not to mention the greenhouse gasses that can be avoided.

By following these six energy saving tips for the workplace you can save money for your business and do your part to ensure a greener future. Which energy saving strategies do you use in your daily work life to ensure that your workplace is more energy efficient and saves money? Let us know in the comments.