There is one thing that every organization has in common: they all want to minimize their energy consumption in order to reduce the costs for business utilities. By making small changes around the workplace, you can significantly cut operation costs and ultimately make a difference in the globe’s fight against climate change.
Not quite sure where to begin? Below, we’ve put together a few strategies that you and your employees can easily adopt in order to transition to a more energy-efficient workplace:
#1 Lighting is Key
Does your office use incandescent or halogen light bulbs? Switching them out for LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs can make a huge impact on your energy consumption. In the United Kingdom, lighting accounts for nearly 15% of a household’s monthly energy bill. LED bulbs are more efficient, letting you save as much as £2-3 for every bulb that you replace with LED.
Additionally, if your office has large windows, take advantage of natural light! Limit tuning on artificial lighting to areas that require illumination, such as meeting rooms, pantries, toilets, and so on. Make it a habit among your employees to switch off the lights when not in use.
#2 Make Use of “Sleep” Mode
Advise your employees to put their computers and laptops in hibernation mode when not in use. For instance, if your employee is going out for lunch, request them to put their device to sleep. This can be done by manually switching to Sleep Mode or by programming the computer to automatically hibernate after being idle for several minutes.
When a computer is in Sleep Mode, it still consumes energy. However, 12 watts is significantly lower than the 65 watts that it would gobble up when its display is on.
If your employee is going to be out of the office for a long period of time, it would be best to have them turn off their computer completely. Don’t forget to unplug the computer — not only does this save energy, but it also protects the computer from damage due to power surges.
#3 Turn Down the AC
Your office does not have to feel like winter all year round. Turning down the thermostat by one degree can help you save as much as £80 a year on your watt energy bills.
To maintain a comfortable temperature in the workplace, set the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during colder seasons, and 78 degrees Fahrenheit during warmer seasons. These are considered optimal indoor temperatures — they’re neither too hot nor too cold and should please everyone. Your staff might not even notice the difference!
Additionally, you may want to consider installing fans. Electric fans use less energy compared to air conditioning systems, costing around 7.76p for twelve hours of uninterrupted use. On the other hand, a medium-sized air conditioning unit would cost you 14p per hour to run.
#4 Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
Your heating and cooling system does not have to be running twenty-four hours a day. Consider upgrading to a programmable or “smart” thermostat. By doing this, you can avoid wasting energy when no one is around.
A programmable thermostat lets you program when it should turn on and off during certain times of the day. Most programmable thermostats even let you configure the temperature settings from a device such as a smartphone. Your business utility UK provider may even offer the upgrade for a minimal cost.
#5 Turn Off Equipment When Not in Use
This practice is probably the most basic of them all. Make sure that your employees remember to completely shut off laptops, computers, lights, coffee makers, and other appliances as the workday comes to a close. Remind your team to unplug equipment — unless, of course, it needs to run 24/7. Consider using power strips so that your employees don’t have to spend time unplugging devices one by one.
#6 Schedule an Energy Audit
Contact your utility provider and have professional electricians conduct an energy audit of your office. Energy auditors will be able to spot leaks, as well as other issues that may be causing you to waste energy. They will also recommend practices that you and your team can adopt in order to save on your electricity costs.
An energy audit also lets you evaluate whether your team’s efforts to reduce energy consumption are paying off.
#7 Consider Going Solar
Solar panels are an excellent source of renewable energy. Since they derive energy purely from the sun, they do not produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, solar energy is clean energy.
The upfront cost to install solar panels may be high, but installing solar panels is one of the smartest energy-efficient investments that your business can make. You can save anywhere from £160-£430 each year, but of course, this number depends on your workplace’s overall energy use.
#8 Make it a Team Effort
Promoting sustainability should be a team effort. You won’t see a significant reduction in your energy bill if only a handful of employees practice the energy-saving tips mentioned above. As their boss or manager, you must clearly explain to your employees why saving energy is important.
You need to accept that not all employees will be on board from day one. The key is to introduce small changes which will eventually develop into long-term habits. For instance, send a friendly reminder at the end of the day to request your employees to unplug their computers before ending their shifts. Eventually, they will remember to do this without being reminded.
Being more energy-efficient in the workplace not only lowers your energy bills but also lets you take part in the global movement to reduce carbon pollution. Moreover, if your company is in the public eye, promoting environmentally-friendly practices will have a positive effect on your image.
You don’t have to make great strides to integrate sustainability into your workplace. Simple changes to your team’s habits can already go a long way.
Contact us today and we’ll help you find the most energy-efficient and sustainable solutions for your business.