Small businesses spend up to $60 billion a year on energy. While this number might seem daunting, it’s not impossible to achieve significant savings in the office without sacrificing too much comfort or convenience.
With a few simple changes and some attention to detail, you can be energy efficient in your office while saving money at the same time. Believe it or not, when you use less energy in your office, everyone benefits.
Here are some tips for being more energy efficient in your office.
Upgrade Your Equipment
It may seem like an expensive investment at first glance, but upgrading your equipment and various systems can significantly reduce your electricity usage. Consider updating computers and printers with newer models that use less power than older models. This will save you money over time because new models have a higher “energy efficiency ratio” (EER).
When upgrading equipment, consult an electrician to make sure your equipment upgrade does not require the addition of a new breaker or panel. By using energy-star rated equipment, you can enjoy reduced energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Newer equipment reduces your electricity bill, increases productivity, and increases the life of your business’s expensive investments.
Upgrade To Energy Efficient Lights
Office lighting is one of the most energy-draining systems you have. It is not uncommon for an office building to have multiple fluorescent bulbs in every room, which means that each day, they are using hundreds or even thousands of watts just for illumination. That can account for 15% to 20% of a company’s total electric bill.
To be environmentally conscious and save money, upgrade to LED lighting options with the Energy Star label. Switching to the latest energy-efficient lighting can reduce your energy bill dramatically, and the initial investment is usually quickly made up for in energy savings. These lights can save you 70% to 90% in energy than standard older lighting systems, and last up to 10 times longer.
Unplug Appliances That Are Not in Use
Another way to save on energy costs is to unplug devices that are not being used. Even if you have a wireless phone charger plugged into the wall with no phone attached, it still uses up electricity. When you consider all the devices in an office, it is easy to see how much energy can be saved by simply unplugging devices that are not being used.
While this may seem like a simple fix, it will have an impact on your electric bill over time and save you money in the long run. Most new devices today also come with auto shut-off features. This means that when the device is not in use, it will shut down after a certain amount of time to save energy.
Make it a habit for you and your employees to remember to always turn off devices before switching off the outlet.
Install a Smart Thermostat
We all rely on the HVAC system in the office to make sure we are comfortable, even when it is hot or cold outside. To save energy and money on your utility costs, invest in a smart thermostat that will adjust itself based on the occupancy of the office space or building. This will help you reduce your overhead costs by only heating or cooling the office space when it is being used.
Some of these thermostats have sensors that can be placed throughout different rooms in your office, so they know how many people are present and which areas are occupied at all times. They monitor energy consumption on a daily basis to keep track of where you can save money and then send that data to your phone for review.
When the office is empty – for example, at midday during lunchtime – it will automatically adjust itself down until a certain time in the afternoon when people start returning from their breaks.
Get Your Business on the Sustainability Path
Today, energy efficiency is a big deal. Start off with some simple changes to become more sustainable, and then focus on the bigger projects that will have larger impacts overall.
This can be hard for small businesses, but it’s worth it. Don’t hesitate to ask energy experts for help, especially if you are not sure where to begin.