The Ultimate Green Office: 7 Tips to Reduce Your Office’s Energy Consumption

7 Tips to Reduce Your Office’s Energy ConsumptionCertain objects, when left in direct sunlight, can become worn and damaged. It’s a well-known fact that ultra-violet radiation from sunlight can cause objects made from both natural and synthetic polymers to crack, wear away, or face when they are exposed to sunlight.

Is your office’s energy bill creeping upwards? Seemingly efficient equipment like a computer or fax machine can cost your business hundreds of dollars each year if it’s left plugged in, as can ordinary utilities like heating and air conditioning systems.

In this blog post, we’ll share seven simple but effective techniques that you can use to reduce your office’s energy consumption, lower your monthly utility bill, and cut your environmental impact and carbon emissions to a significantly smaller amount.

Don’t touch the thermostat

Did you know that a one-degree change in your office’s temperature – upwards if it’s cold or downwards if it’s too hot – could result in a 10 percent increase in your total energy usage?

Air conditioners and heating systems use an incredible amount of energy, and their power consumption increases the bigger the difference between the ambient office temperature and the temperature they’re set to.

Keep your monthly energy bill predictable and affordable by leaving your heating or air conditioning system at a consistent level throughout the day. The bigger the gap between the natural temperature and your, the greater your energy bill will be.

Need help staying comfortable? Instead of relying on your heating system for a cool (or warm) office, adjust your dress code to favor warm and comfortable clothes in winter and cool, casual and more breathable clothes during the summer.

Prevent heat from escaping

You can significantly reduce your dependence on air conditioning and heating by preventing heat from escaping from your office in winter, or entering your office during the summer.

Simple changes to your office’s collective habits, like closing windows and shutting doors to hallways and unheated storage spaces, can help to keep your temperature at a steady level throughout the day and reduce the importance of heating.

Another great way to prevent heat from escaping (or entering) is with a daylighting system that prevents heat transfer. Many modern skylights are equipped with filters and films that allow light to enter your office without transferring unwanted heat.

Switch off unused equipment

Did you know that one computer and monitor, switched on but unused, could cost your business more than $100 per year? Small appliances and standard equipment can rack up massive energy expenses when it isn’t used in an efficient manner.

One of the best ways to reduce your monthly energy bill is by switching off all PCs, printers, photocopiers and other devices at the end of the day. Remember that you only use technology for eight to ten hours a day – there’s no need to keep it running for 24 hours.

Sometimes, switching off equipment isn’t enough. Certain equipment will still draw power from the socket as long as it’s plugged in. For perfect office energy efficiency, unplug computers and other devices at the end of the day and over the weekend.

Install a daylighting system

Did you know that artificial lighting could be responsible for as much as 30 percent of your monthly energy bill? Even with the introduction of energy efficient lighting, artificial lighting systems can still cost hundreds of dollars a month to operate.

If you run a very large office that’s open early in the morning and late into the night, you could be spending thousands of dollars every month on lighting alone. The best way to reduce your bill is by switching from artificial lighting to natural lighting.

Instead of closing the blinds to reduce glare, keep them open and enjoy the benefits of natural light. Skylights and other daylighting systems are excellent ways to lower your energy consumption while enjoying a healthier and more productive office.

Use Energy Star technology

Is your office heavily dependent on technology? From computers to displays, many of the appliances you use in your office are available in more efficient versions that use significantly less electricity.

When you buy computer hardware, photocopiers, fax machines and other important office equipment, look for an Energy Star logo. This logo guarantees that the device was designed and manufactured with minimal energy consumption as a priority.

Remember, even if your office is outfitted with Energy Star equipment, it’s still vital that you switch off and unplug technology when it’s not in use. Every step counts in reducing your energy consumption and running an environmentally friendly office.

Keep your heating up to date

Is your air conditioning system more than a decade old? Aging air conditioning and heating systems are often significantly less efficient than their modern counterparts, and could be increasing your monthly energy bill by more than 10 percent.

If your heating or air conditioning system is outdated, consider replacing it with an updated, newer and more energy efficient model. The cost of installing a modern air conditioning or heating system is almost always outweighed by the energy savings.

Likewise, if your heating and air conditioning system is modern and efficient, make sure you keep it clean and well maintained. Dirty filters can result in decreased air conditioning performance and significantly higher relative energy consumption.

Switch off unnecessary lighting

Do you keep your storage closets, server rooms and other largely unused spaces lit throughout the day? Installing motion sensors to control lighting in rooms that are rarely used is a great way to reduce your dependence on artificial lighting.

Alternatively, you can change your office policy from “keep lights on” to “switch off any non-essential lights.” This small change in mentality is often enough to reduce your energy bills by hundreds of dollars every month.

Small changes matter, and when you take many small steps – like switching off non-essential lights and unplugging unused PCs – you’ll watch your office energy bill get less and less expensive as the months go by.

“Image courtesy of Hong Li/”

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