Energy may not seem like a major expense for your business, but for mid-to-large companies it can often add up to several thousand dollars a month. Saving energy not only saves you money – it also reduces your business’s carbon output.
While many people associate “saving energy” with making huge cuts and changes to the way they operate, the reality is that it’s incredibly easy to save a lot of energy by making small changes to ordinary office life.
From switching off unused PCs to installing a skylight or two in your building, we’ve put together a list of 10 simple but highly effective habits and actions your business can take to reduce its energy output in 2015.
Make energy efficiency part of your company’s culture
The most effective companies don’t just make something a task – they make it part of the company’s culture. Make energy saving part of your company’s identity and hold short, effective annual conferences to discuss energy-saving techniques.
Switch off lights in unused/rarely-used rooms
From storage closets to server rooms, a lot of the spaces in your workplace might only get used occasionally. Make it a policy to turn off the lights in spaces that are rarely used by employees, at least when they aren’t in use.
Use energy efficient artificial lighting at the office
Energy efficient bulbs use a fraction as much electricity as their inefficient lighting counterparts, without any reduction in illumination. Switch from the old inefficient bulbs to newer, energy efficient models to save electricity every month.
Open the windows to cool your office in summer
Who says you need to crank up the air conditioning during summer? If your office is located in a region with cool winds, open the office windows slightly to let cool air in during summer to avoid overusing your air conditioning system.
Switch off computers and other devices at the end of the workday
Does your office policy involve switching computers to sleep mode overnight? If it does, change it to require employees to turn their computers off. Sleep mode might seem energy efficient, but many computers consume electricity even while sleeping.
Upgrade old electrical devices to newer, more efficient models
Many old printers, scanners, photocopiers and other electrical devices use far more power than their newer counterparts. Save energy by upgrading to new models – if you can, choose machines with the Energy Star logo of approval.
Daylighting is a major component of modern energy efficiency, and for many good reasons. Adding skylights to your workplace’s ceiling – even if they’re spaced quite far from each other – can massively reduce your dependence on artificial lighting.
Use posters to make your employees aware of energy’s value
One of the hardest parts of making your office greener and more energy efficient is improving employee habits. Reinforce the importance of being green by putting up posters and reminders around the office highlighting energy efficient behavior.
Service your HVAC system frequently to improve efficiency
Old, inefficient and poorly serviced HVAC systems can use significantly more energy than they should. If your workplace is heavily dependent on heating in the winter or air conditioning in the summer, make sure your HVAC system is serviced often.
Set ambitious energy efficiency targets and don’t forget them
Just like you’d set quarterly revenue or profit targets to motivate your employees to work hard, try setting quarterly energy efficiency targets to encourage your team to reduce its energy consumption. An ambitious goal can help you save lots of energy.