Operating a profitable business is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of planning, budgeting and internal controls to break even or increase profitability. Don’t even try to deny it.
Employee salaries, travel costs, logistics and much more do impact the office budget when looking into cost-cutting measures. But there is an area that is often overlooked-the electricity bills. It often takes a major portion of your office expenditure and you can do something about it.
According to Climate Works Australia’s Energy Productivity Index, Companies could improve their profits by 2-10% each year by saving energy.
For example, improved energy efficiency has already led to USD $1.2 billion in annual savings for the 70 companies analysed across six sectors: airlines, automobiles, chemicals, steel, paper and construction.
And that’s not all, The United Nations Environment Organization shares similar sentiments as well;
A troubling thought, isn’t it?
Let’s have a look at some ridiculously simple and practical ways that can help you reduce the lighting electricity expenditure and boost your profits.
But you know what else? You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and helping our planet stay greener; a noble task that most companies and businesses have undertaken to help save our planet from further destruction.
And while we are at it, you could also use eco-friendly products and services at your workplace to further that noble course of making our planet greener.Sounds good?
So let’s take a closer look at the simple tricks you can start implementing today for a greener workplace and reduced lighting bills.
1. Reconsider Your Lighting Options
And here is the best thing:replacing all the incandescent and CFL bulbs with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) will save up to 80% energy.
If you’re on a tight budget, start gradually with areas where lights are on for longer periods.
Here are the benefits and features of LED lighting;
✓ Long life – it features long operational lifetime expectations.
✓ Energy efficiency – it features much better energy efficiency.
✓ Ecologically friendly – it is much more eco-friendly.
✓ Durable quality – its illumination can withstand rough conditions.
✓ Zero UV and IR emissions – it features close to no Ultraviolet and Infrared emissions.
✓ Design flexibility – it has powerful flexible design features.
✓ It’s operational in extremely cold or hot temperatures.
✓ Light disbursement – it to achieve higher application efficiency.
✓ Instant lighting and frequent switching – it can be turned on/off many times.
✓ Low-voltage – it can run on low-voltage power Supply.
2. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
Whenever the sun is shining in abundance during working hours; make good use of it for illumination. It wouldn’t make sense to have the lights on, on a bright sunny day, would it?
Even in the mornings, have the curtains and blinds adjusted to let sufficient light in, instead of having the lights on.
It helps to have the workplace arranged in a way that allows maximum natural light in.
Your employees will appreciate the natural light, plus it has been proven to prevent eye strain, boost good moods, increase productivity and enhance an overall sense of satisfaction.
3. Install Motion and Occupancy Sensors
This is an excellent hassle free option to manual on and off switching of lights. Take note of the rooms that aren’t always in use and install motion-activated sensors so that the lights are switched off by default.
The most common types are dimmers, motion, occupancy and photo sensors and timers.
They are flexible to implement because you can easily add them to new or existing light fixtures. Rooms that are best suited for these sensors may include individual offices, the conference rooms, restrooms, storage areas, and the mailroom.
4. Decorate with Light Colours
Use light colours on the walls combined with high gloss sheens. They easily reflect off daylight reducing the need for artificial light.
Here is more on the psychology of light and colour.
5. Label Switches
For easy identification, labelling switches will help your staff to know the relevant switches for use thus reducing unnecessary lighting.
6. Install Light Dimmer Switches
Light dimmers save energy by enabling you to adjust the light intensity for your intended purpose. Dimmers let you have one light for different applications, allowing you to only adjust the brightness of any one light to serve various purposes.
It’s a very versatile option for your office use and saves you money.
7. Task Lighting
This is a method of lighting your localized workspace to eliminate unnecessary lighting, therefore, reducing energy use and costs. The targeted work areas will have higher illumination levels than that produced by overhead lights.
Examples of task lights are lamps, under-cabinet lights lamps that will consume less energy than overhead lights in most workplaces
Here is an excerpt from a research conducted on the case for task lighting.
Consider spotlighting for display areas but not for general illumination. If you’re in the retail or hospitality industry, always keep the lighting at reduced levels and then switch them on when you’re just about to open.
8. Turn off Lights Campaign
Instill in your employees a habit of turning the lights off when not in use.
For instance, it’s pointless to have the lights on in an unoccupied office room or washroom all day. Place reminders for switching office lights off when leaving for home and the outdoor lights when they’re not in use.
You could even consider having a reward system for the members of staff who consistently switch lights off. Even a simple extra 10 minutes paid lunch break would go a long way.
9. Daylight Linking
Using sensors and smart control systems, you can link artificial light levels to natural light levels to minimize energy use.
10. Use Two-way Switching
For office rooms with two exits; ensure that lights can be easily turned off when leaving the room.
Here is more on the difference between one way and two-way switches
✓ One-way switches only have two terminals while two-way switches have three.
✓ A two-way switch can be used to control a light from two locations while a one-way switch cannot.
✓ One-way switches have definite on and off states while two-way switches don’t.
11. Choose Light Fitting Wisely
There are some light fittings especially those that have coloured fabric or glass that can block up to 50% of the light. This means that they’ll need a higher wattage globe which is costly.
Check out these tips on how to choose your lighting wisely.
12. Use LED Lighting Fixtures for Outdoor Lighting
Instead of having outdoor security lights, spotlights or flood lights on all night; you can install infrared or movement sensors.
Apart from reducing your electricity bill, they will also alert people that there is something going on in your office building.
13. Clean Lamps and Fittings
Clean lights remain bright and have a longer lifespan through reduced heat. Always ensure they are free of dust and build up for optimal output.
Do the cleaning regularly using a soft cloth and plain water, or if excessively dirty, you could use a mild detergent.
Create a Profitable and Greener Workplace
In essence, these simple daily efforts that are sometimes overlooked, do make a big impact in the long run. Don’t get left behind, start implementing these tricks at your workplace today for a profitable and greener business.
Here is all you have to ensure;
✓ Sufficient natural light at the workplace
✓ Selected lighting corresponds to the appropriate visual task
✓ Balanced direct and indirect light
✓ Optimized use of energy saving lamps
✓ Use of flicker- and glare-free lighting
✓ Ensure the light intensity in the room is individually adjustable
✓ Use pleasant and bright light colours (warm white, neutral white)
✓ Avoid glare and distracting reflections
It really is that simple.
Want to know more on how you can make your workplace even more eco-friendly? Check out Alsco’s eye-opening resources to make your workplace greener and healthier.
We guarantee you a comprehensive solution to your business worries – from convenient, cash flow friendly payments through to a regular service – completely flexible to your needs. And isn’t that what you want?