Any type of office energy savings is a positive for a few reasons. One, it helps reduce overhead expenses, which can help boost a company's bottom line. And two, it's good for the environment and can establish a company as a more energy-efficient one, something that can help boost its status in the community. Another nice thing about conserving office energy is that it's not difficult to do. In many offices, there's not one "golden ticket" to reducing output, but many little things that can be done - and these little things can all add up to
5 Tips to Reduce Office Energy Costs
- Go LED: If you haven't yet converted all of your office lights from candescent, halogen or fluorescent bulbs to LED ones, start now. Yes, LED lights are a bit more expensive up front, but you'll get a significant return on investment over time. LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than conventional bulbs, generate little heat and can last for up to 50,000 hours.
- Power down your computer: A desktop that's on 24/7 all year long would cost anywhere from about $200 to $400 to run, based on electricity prices. Laptops are generally more
efficient,but stillrun at a cost. That's why it's so important to power down computers in the office when you're done for the night and to adjust the power settings on such devices so they go into hibernation or low power sleep modes during periods of non-use. Standby mode can reduce power consumption by about one-third.
- Eliminate "vampire electronics": "Vampire electronics" are defined as sources that are drawing power either while on standby or while they're unknowingly off, but still plugged in. According to the EPA, these types of electronics contribute to a combined $10 billion in energy costs annually. Assess your office electronics and make sure that nothing is sucking power that shouldn't be or isn't being used. Investing in power strips can help eliminate vampire electronic sources, as you'll just need to switch off the power strip - and not remove each individual plug from an outlet - to save energy. Power strips also help provide surge protection to critical office devices, like computers, printers, fax machines
- Invest in building facade improvements: Window films and window treatments are a few ways to keep natural daylight coming
in,while keeping heat from the sun's rays out. In fact, it's estimated that up to 75 percent of commercial windows are inefficient, and some one-third of cooling costs are related to solar heat gain. This heat gain puts additional stress on HVAC units as they work to keep the office comfortable. Installing solar window films is one option, as they'll still allow natural daylight in - just not the heat. Window treatments, such as shades and blinds, can also help conserve commercial office energy output.
- Turn off the lights: This might be the easiest energy savings tip of all, as all you need to do is flick a switch when you leave for the day or when you don't need lighting in your workspace. If your employees need help remembering this, consider putting signs up next to light switches. You can also make a small investment in motion powered lights that will automatically shut off after a certain period of inactivity.
There are certainly other things you can do to conserve energy in the office, such as invest in programmable thermostats, move data to the cloud, eliminate drafts around windows and doors, and upgrade equipment to Energy Star-rated appliances. However, saving energy doesn't have to be difficult and it doesn't have to be expensive. All it takes is a little bit of effort and commitment.