Whether you’re a large corporation or a one-man brand, our tips on how to save energy in the workplace will help you cut your energy wastage and shrink your energy bills.
Save energy at work and you’ll save your company money in the process. You’ll also be helping to protect the environment, and slashing energy bills is easier than you might think.
Energy inefficiencies come in many shapes and sizes. Some are obvious, some less so. Some become obvious, but only once they’re pointed out. All are costing you money, and all have easy fixes.
Are you still using traditional incandescent light bulbs to light your workplace? If so, it’s time for a change. LED and CFL have over double the lifespan of traditional bulbs and run on just a fractional 25% of the energy.
Turning off lights when they’re not in use may sound like stating the obvious, but many of us are guilty of leaving light switches un-flicked and this is one really easy way to save energy.
And where possible, try to make use of natural light. After all, sunlight is totally free, so take advantage and let as much as possible into your workplace. Open curtains, pull up blinds, and if you’re having an office refurb, you could even consider putting in extra skylights to maximise your availability of natural light.
In case you were wondering, LED and CFL electronics aren’t the only energy saving electronics out there. If you’re on the hunt for new equipment, then keep an eye out for products that bear the Energy Star symbol [link to Energy Star website]. The Energy Star is awarded to new products that meet the energy efficiency standards set by the symbol’s independent awarding body.
There’s also a lot of energy to be saved by moving your company’s digital data storage to the cloud. Doing so eliminates the need to maintain power-ravenous servers on your premises. Astonishingly, a survey conducted in 2010 concluded that by moving storage to the cloud, a company with 100 IT users could slash its energy overheads by as much as 90%.
And lastly always make sure electronic equipment is off when not in use, and ‘off’ as in ‘off’, not standby. Again, this might sound obvious, but the obvious is overlooked all too often.
There’s often plenty of energy to be saved by optimising heating in your workplace during winter. Whacking the heating on up to full for a quick thaw on arrival to work, then turning it off again only once you’re done for the day is poor, energy wasting form. Programmable thermostats that switch themselves on and off at predetermined times should be considered by any that aren’t already making use of them. You’ll save both energy and money by setting your heating to gently warm up your workplace before you get in and turn itself off again an hour or so before you leave.
Energy can also be saved by better conserving heat within your workplace. Heat escaping an open window is money down the drain. While an open window during the depths of winter might be an oddity, drafty doors and poorly sealed panes are far less infrequently encountered. Seal such air leaks and you’ll save money.
Improving your installation is yet another option, albeit costlier, but will also pay dividends in the future.
Flip the coin and you’ll find the other side is rarely innocent either. Fans and air cons provide welcome relief on sweltering summer days. But blocking out direct sunlight and properly aerating workplaces chill temperatures too, and these methods are cost-effective and energy free.
Considering the control of the temperature in workplace throughout the year, it’s thought that turning the thermostat down by just one degree in the winter and up by just one in the summer could reduce the average company’s energy bill by 10%.
Make your own energy
There has been a significant rise in companies that are fixing solar panels to their roofs and other outdoor areas. They won’t cover your energy costs completely, but solar panels provide a good return on investment and the energy that they do generate is free and completely renewable. Most are also sold with a 25-year warranty and require next to no maintenance over the course of their lifespan, so solar panels offer peace of mind along with their free energy.
Getting there and back again
If you’d like to take energy saving in the workplace a step further then consider saving energy out of the workplace too. Commutes can be energy intensive affairs, especially when taken by car. If you live close enough, walking or cycling to work grants the opportunity for some exercise and totally eradicates energy wastage from your travel to and from work.
Even taking public transport will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. And catching buses and trains also carries the added bonus of saving you the headache of rush hour road rage.
Saving energy at work makes sense for the business minded and the eco-conscious alike. Save energy and you’ll save money, and help save the environment in the process. There’s money to be made, and nothing to be lost, and opportunities like these don’t come often.