There are a number of things you can do to save on energy costs in your office. They range from simple things each of us can do (like turning off lights) to ambitious upgrades.
Here are 12 ways to save energy in a small business office:
Do you have signs next to light switches in conference rooms to turn out lights?
Have you considered motion-activated lights in little-used hallways or common areas, that will turn off after a period and turn on only when someone enters the space?
Think of ways to remind people to turn off lights, or have lights turn on and off automatically.
By now, most of us know that incandescent light bulbs are being phased out. LED and fluorescent lights, as well as UID lights for large spaces,are better energy choices.
When looking for replacement bulbs, lumens are in, watts are out. Lumens measure how much light the bulb delivers. Watts measure how much energy is being consumed. Look for energy efficient bulbs delivering the lumens you need.
On computers, printers and other pieces of office equipment, use the recommended power management settings to shut them off or go into hibernate mode when technology is not in use.
Consider getting rid of your computer servers, and instead going with cloud-based systems. No more running multiple servers or cooling of that hot data centre is needed. On top of that, more employees could telecommute.
According to a survey by CareerBuilder, almost half of employees said their offices were either too hot - or too cold. Some employers put thermostats only in the hands of management to control - and avoid the constant adjusting of the thermostat by individuals.
Use a programmable thermostat that adjusts temperature at night and on weekends. One can pay for itself in no time.
Whether it’s the refrigerator in the lunch room, the exhaust fans in the bathrooms, the printers, the HVAC system or the lighting fixtures - it may pay to upgrade to energy efficient models, especially if you have a lot of older equipment.
Leaking faucets and other fixtures can result in hundreds to thousands of dollars in extra water bills each year. Also, insulate your water heater if necessary to cut down on heating costs. Adjust the temperature of hot water heaters, too. Experts recommend between 45 and 60 degrees.
Office buildings tend to have lots of windows, and during thesummer or in northern locations, this puts an added load on your airconditioning system. Not to mention, it puts a load on your cooling bills.Solar window film, blinds and awnings can help your office keep its cool.
A landscaping design for your facility that is water intensive,can use a tremendous amount of water resources. Switch to xeriscaping or native plants that don’t need to be coddled with excessive water. If possible (and if within local code) “reuse” water from a local pond or rainwater runoff for watering your outdoor landscaping.
A few tubes of caulking around windows, or some weather stripping around doors, may prevent energy loss that drives up HVAC bills.
Many electric providers are working to reduce demand in hot summer months, to avoid brownouts and other issues. So they are offering discounts to business customers that sign up for energy savings programs. The programs include everything from energy audits, to rebates for retiring energy-inefficient equipment.Visit your providers website to see what they can offer you.
Shop around also, for energy providers, as you may now have a choice for such providers as your natural gas source. Sometimes local business groups even offer special rates.
Solar power and other renewable energy are a long way from replacing electricity or gas completely for the vast majority of businesses.But solar panels, geo-thermal heat pumps, wind mills and other renewable energy sources may be used to reduce reliance on traditional energy.