10 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency at the Office
Those who own their own business might want to cut costs related to utility bills. The expenses related to heating and cooling, operating computers and even lighting the space can add up each month.
When business owners want to save money and are looking for ways to save, taking control of the energy use in the office can help lower monthly operating costs. Here are 10 ways to increase energy efficiency at the office to help decrease utility bills:
- Switch to LED lights
- Make sure computers are shut down before the weekend
- Install a smart thermostat
- Integrate the Internet of Things
- Install touch-free faucets in restrooms
- Adjust the thermostat
- Embrace natural lighting
- Go paper free
- Ditch unused gadgets
- Conduct an energy audit
Lighting to Lower Electricity Costs
While lighting a space isn’t the dominant source of energy use in the home, for the office space those bulbs could contribute to the rising cost of the electricity bill. The most energy efficient light bulb is the LED.
An LED bulb emits less heat and can last for several years. While LED bulbs are more expensive, the initial cost isn’t an issue when the energy efficiency is factored into the costs.
To save more money on lighting, company owners can switch to LED but use the natural light of the sun when possible. Sunlight is free; open the blinds and enjoy the savings.
Shutdown the Computers Before the Weekend and Use Sleep Mode During the Week
While computers will move to an energy-efficient mode when they aren’t in use, turning them off could be the more efficient option. Switch off computers before leaving for the weekend. Make sure employees get into the habit of shutting down their machines before the weekend.
However, shutting down computers every night might not be the overall goal. According to ENERGY STAR “…you only save a watt or two by turning off a computer vs. placing it in sleep mode.” For the weekend, though, opting to shut down computers might be the best policy.
Install a Smart Thermostat or Adjust the Temperature
Not all business owners have the ability to change out a thermostat; this could be up to the building owner, and those who lease might not be able to make any changes within the building.
However, for those who can switch up their thermostat, choosing a smart thermostat can help keep energy costs in check. These thermostats can be controlled remotely via an app on a mobile device.
In addition, smart thermostats could offer different programs that change the temperature at specific times. Business owners might turn down the temperature at night during the winter or over the weekend. In summer, the temperature might adjust warmer during nights and weekends when no one is in the office.
Heating and cooling can account for a big portion of an electricity bill. Take control of the temperature to save some money. For those who cannot make significant changes to their space, adjusting the temperature on the thermostat to save energy might be the best option.
Integrate the Internet of Things
Control the energy use in the office with the Internet of Things. Use smart powerstrips or smart plugs to connect lights, computers and other devices to the Internet of Things.
These smart plugs allow gadgets to be controlled via an app or using voice commands to a smart assistant (like Alexa). Turn off power strips remotely after work hours to stop energy drains.
Install Touch-Free Faucets in Restrooms
Again, those who lease might not be able to make any permanent changes to their office space. In addition, bathrooms in leased buildings might be shared by many different tenants.
However, business owners who can make changes to their office might opt to install touch free faucets in their restrooms. These faucets turn on when motion is detected and turn off when the motion stops. Motion-sensor faucets can help minimize water waste.
Go Paper Free
Printing invoices and reports uses energy. Go paper-free when possible and stop relying on the printer. Instead, create virtual documents that can be emailed and sent securely.
Ditch Unused Gadgets
To improve office organization, Constellation recommended ditching unused gadgets. However, getting rid of unused gadgets also can help save energy if these devices have been stuck in the outlet and are serving as energy vampires.
Conduct an Energy Audit
Businesses that want to maximize their energy efficiency and savings could hire a professional to conduct an energy audit of the office. An auditor will identify any areas of energy waste and make recommendations to improve the efficiency of the space. Energy audits can help business owners reduce their monthly operational costs related to utility usage.
For business owners that want to decrease their monthly utility bills, some simple changes could help lead to energy savings. Some businesses lease their space, though, and are more limited in what changes they can make around their office. However, even setting computers to sleep mode and adjusting the temperature in the office could help decrease the electricity bill. An energy audit of the office also could help business owners identify energy drains and save money.