by Nigel Hilton
Finding ways to cut back on energy usage should be a priority for your business. It saves you a lot of money and customers are more likely to deal with a business that is making an effort to be more environmentally friendly, so it strengthens your brand. But being eco-friendly is often easier said than done. A lot of businesses make big changes like improving their manufacturing processes and replacing equipment with more energy efficient alternatives. But what about the small things? There are a lot of small instances of energy waste around the office that go unnoticed, but those things quickly add up. If you don’t identify that waste and eliminate it, you will waste a lot of money on energy costs for no good reason. These are some of the sources of hidden energy waste that you need to look out for in your office.
Maintaining a good temperature in the office is important because it can have a big impact on productivity. If your employees are freezing cold, they will be easily distracted, and they will not work as effectively. Improving staff comfort is one of the best ways to increase productivity and maintaining the right temperature is a big part of that. However, a few degrees can make all the difference when it comes to energy efficiency. If you push the temperature too high, you will be wasting a lot of money. You will find that reducing the temperature by a few degrees will reduce your energy usage a lot over the course of a year, but the difference will be barely noticeable to your employees.
Containing your the heat in the office is important as well. But some people make the mistake of having windows open while they have the heating on, so you’re paying for heat that is going straight out of the window. If employees are opening the windows, that means that they’re too warm. So, you can save a lot of energy by closing the windows and turning the thermostat down.
It’s equally important that you keep the office cool in the summer because people will not be able to concentrate properly if they are too warm. But air conditioners can be expensive to run, so you have to make sure that you choose carefully. When you are trying to find a commercial air conditioning for the office, you should look at water cooled ones because they are far more energy efficient. You can still keep the office cool, but your energy bills will be a lot lower. You need to make sure that you make use of the natural cooling effect by opening the windows as well. There’s no sense keeping all of the window shut and then using lots of energy to run an air conditioner. In the height of summer, you will still need to run the air conditioner even if the windows are open, but sometimes, you can do without it and save yourself a lot of energy.
Leaving Things On Standby
Leaving things switched on or even on standby overnight wastes so much energy. Your employees might decide to leave their computers switched on in sleep mode to save themselves a bit of time in the mornings, but it’s wasting a lot of money, so it’s important that you have a strict policy in place. Make it clear to your employees that they need to switch everything off before they leave the office, and have somebody check before the office is locked up for the night. It’s not just the computers that you have to think about either. Most people will remember to switch off their computers, but what about things like printers and photocopiers? These are often left on overnight and even though they don’t use that much energy, it all adds up over time. Once your employees get into the habit of switching everything off, it becomes second nature and you don’t have to worry about it.
Leaving lights on is a big problem as well because people just don’t think about it, but there are a few simple ways around this. Labeling your light switches is a good idea because that stops people from accidentally turning on the wrong light and then leaving it. You can also install timers on certain lights so they will turn off automatically if they are accidentally left on. If you haven’t already, you should also consider switching your light bulbs out for LED ones because they are far more energy efficient.
Even if you switch computers every night, they still use a lot of energy during the day and that’s unavoidable. However, a lot of businesses waste money because they are using oversized monitors. The type of monitor also makes a big difference. A larger screen uses more power, so you should think about whether your employees really need it or not. Some employees, those that are doing design work, for example, do need a big monitor. But most of your employees could make do with a smaller screen, and that simple change will save a lot of energy.
Printing documents uses energy, and a lot of the time, it’s completely unnecessary. It’s easier than ever to access digital copies instead, so you don’t need to waste energy on printing. But a lot of people around the office will be printing things for the sake of it, and sometimes, they print things that they never end up using. That’s wasting energy and costing you money in paper and ink, so you need to manage it properly. If you invest in cloud storage systems, your employees can access everything they need on any device that is connected to the internet, so there is no need for them to print. You can also use digital signatures so even when it comes to signing contracts, there is no need to print the whole thing out. If you make an effort to go paperless, you can drastically reduce your energy usage.
These hidden sources of energy waste could be costing you a lot of money, so you need to find them and eliminate them right away.