One of the things that make running a business such an adventure is juggling the different types of costs you have to deal with every day. Those can be your employees’ salaries and benefits, as well as the space rentals and utilities.
All of these factors can, in one way or another, affect your budget and therefore, should be taken into consideration wisely. One way to be wise about your operation costs is to use energy wisely.
While it’s every business owners’ responsibility to think about practical ways to make smart changes around the workplace, it is also important that everyone in the company is involved in this energy saving initiative. Employees should also contribute in whatever way they can and help the company make a difference.
Wondering where or how to get started in making your workplace more energy efficient and sustainable? Here are a few simple ways you can save energy in the workplace and bring positive changes to your working environment:
1. Switch off artificial lights and use natural light
Artificial lights consume power – natural light is free. So, limit the use of artificial lighting to the dark areas in the workplace that are out of the sun’s reach.
Everything else should make use of the natural light instead.
If not in use, switch off the lights at meeting rooms, pantry, reception, corridors, or stairs. If there’s nobody in the room for more than a couple of seconds – kill the lights!
2. Choose energy efficient light bulbs
Less energy spent means less money wasted on electricity bills. If your workplace does not get enough natural light during the daytime, you can opt for low wattage lights.
You can also replace existing bulbs with CFL or LED lights. They consume less power and last for longer periods of time.
3. Choose laptops over desktops
Laptops typically consume less energy compared to desktops, so keep this in mind when buying your workplace equipment. Opt for laptops whenever possible.
The monitor size also contributes to the amount of energy consumed. While graphic designers and people from similar lines of work cannot work on small screens, there are a lot of other employees in your company whose work doesn’t depend on the huge monitors.
Make the right selection and keep the screen size at a reasonable level when it comes to monitor choice. Smaller monitors spend less.
4. Use hibernation feature on all computers
Advise everyone to put their computers in hibernation mode if they take a break or go to a meeting. This applies to any situation when an employee won’t be using it for a long period of time.
The hibernation feature in computers allows users to save existing work as it is and continue working at the exact same point upon return. Employees can set their computers to go into the hibernation mode when they are inactive for several minutes.
5. Use energy saving features of all devices
Make sure that your employees are aware of the energy-saving features of appliances and other electronics like the printers, microwaves, and air conditioners.
Most of the modern devices have these options and they are usually very easy to use. In most cases, it is a matter of pressing a button or adjusting a setting feature. Advise everyone to use these features to help cut energy costs.
6. Upgrade all outdated equipment
Old electrical equipment that is no longer working at their maximum efficiency could only draw unnecessary power, costing you more money. It’s best to replace your old office appliances with new certified energy efficient ones.
However, make sure that you dispose of your old equipment in a proper way and recycle it. There are a lot of companies that specialise in recycling this type of waste. You just need to find a company that recycles electronic waste near you and call them.
7. Buy energy efficient devices
Energy efficient devices may cost more upfront but they’re going to consume less, saving you more money in the long run. Their price is decreasing, because, nowadays, being energy efficient is becoming a standard that a lot of companies try to keep.
The secret to getting the most out of your energy efficient devices in the workplace is keeping them properly maintained to avoid having to keep buying new ones.
8. Do an energy audit
It’s good to check your workplace’s energy consumption and evaluate your overall energy efficiency by doing energy audits. This way, you’ll know whether you are consuming way too much energy or using just enough to sustain the business operations.
This is also one way to see if your energy saving efforts are working and paying off. There are energy audit companies you can hire and they can help you identify areas where you can trim down your energy consumption.
9. Switch off equipment when not in use
Just like with lights, make sure that you switch off and plug out all equipment when not in use. This includes air conditioners, coffee vending machines, hand dryers, microwaves, printers, copiers, and scanners during weekends or holidays.
These electrical devices continue to drain power even if they are plugged in. This is sometimes called standby energy consumption or vampire energy drain. This type of energy consumption adds hundreds of millions of dollars to annual electricity bills all over Australia.
Making sure all of your devices are plugged out after working hours as this saves energy and reduces your electricity bill.
10. Print only when necessary
Avoid printing files that can be sent via email. There are many ways you can share or store important files today.
Modern technology gives you a ton of options, including cloud storage, email clients and even ped drives if you insist.
Aside from reducing paper wastage, this also helps cut the total amount of energy consumed by the printer.
11. Control your heating and cooling
Cutting down on air conditioning could mean significant savings for you. Don’t make drastic difference between the temperature outside and the one in your workplace, but keep in mind the conditions of optimum working environment.
This will reduce the power your heater and cooler uses by up to 10%.
It’s also smart to invest in a programmable thermostat that can automatically adjust your workplace’s temperature when no one is around.
Simple things like keeping doors and windows closed while heating is on also helps prevent wasting energy because open doors and windows allow heated air to escape and cold air to come in.
Also, make sure that your radiators and air conditioners are placed in the right spot and are not being blocked by furniture as this affects the device efficiency.
There is no need to heat or cool down corridors and storerooms since they are not being used all day. Focus on the areas that are frequented by your employees and those areas where they spend the most of their time.
12. Consider installing solar panels
Aside from being a great source of renewable energy, solar panels are clean, longer-lasting, and require little maintenance. Some solar panels might cost you a lot initially, but with the amount of energy and money you save, they pay off sooner than you think.
13. Promote sustainability in the workplace
Promote sustainability throughout the company. Explain to you employees why it’s important and in what ways everyone can benefit from it.
You can start small by sending out a reminder for everyone to always check if their computers are unplugged before leaving the office at the end of their shifts.
The secret to reducing energy consumption in the workplace is getting your employees on board, making small changes in their daily habits at work.
If you think about it, improving a business’ profitability can be as simple as being wise with everything you spend money on, like energy.
Saving energy in the office doesn’t only reduce your electricity bills, but contributes a lot to the environment by lessening carbon pollution, making your workplace worthy of a Green Star.
Moreover, going green definitely improves your reputation and has amazing positive effects on your company’s image and brand.
The best thing about aiming for sustainability is that you’re not alone. There are businesses like Alsco, that support green initiatives and provide equally efficient and eco-friendly services tailored for any kind of business you may have.
Call us today and we’ll do our best to find efficient and environment-friendly solutions for your business!