It doesn’t matter if your office or workspace is in luxury building in a big city or the “spare room” at your home. Lowering energy costs around the office not only helps the environment, it also boosts your business’s bottom line. Here’s a look at strategies for improving energy efficiency at work.
Buy energy efficient equipment:
When it’s time to replace computer monitors and other equipment, consider purchasing ENERGY STAR models. This could cut energy consumption by up to 75 percent compared to conventional products.
Power down and unplug equipment that’s not in use:
Have employees turn off and unplug their computers, printers or another equipment before they leave the office. Electronic devices that are turned off but still plugged in can still draw a small amount of power, so use an energy strip to reduce this energy drain.
Set electronics to hibernate or sleep mode:
This way, even if workers forget to power down their computers or other equipment or they walk away for a short time, they’ll consume less power. Most printers and copiers also have an energy-saving mode you could use to reduce your energy consumption.
Use energy efficient lighting:
Use natural lighting when you can and consider replacing conventional light bulbs with more compact fluorescent bulbs. Keep windows and skylights clean to maximize natural lighting.
Add motion sensors:
Installing motion sensors in storage rooms, conference rooms, or other areas that are occupied only sporadically will reduce your energy usage instead of relying on employees to flip off the switch themselves when they leave the room.
Get a programmable thermostat:
During weekends and evening hours when your offices are likely not occupied, set the temperature accordingly to reduce heating and cooling costs.
Use cloud computing to reduce local server costs:
Running a local server incurs energy costs around the clock, so some businesses have switched to cloud computing instead. Cloud computing also allows employees to work from home, another source of energy savings.
Allow employees to telecommute:
If your line of business allows for telecommuting, then having fewer people in the office running computers and printers could help reduce your energy use. If telecommuting becomes very successful, you may find that as your head count increases, you won’t need to expand your office space proportionately. Remember: a larger office space often costs more money to heat, cool and light.
Research environmental grants and loans:
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers environmental grants and loans to help small businesses defray the costs of energy efficient upgrades. If you’re planning an upgrade, these options may be worth investigating.
*Photo courtesy of Financial Times, CC / BY 2.0