The current trend is for environmental awareness, both at home and at work. If we are to meet energy efficiency goals for the next decade, we need to save on energy in the office too, and help our workplace cut costs at the same time.
There are a number of ways personnel can save on energy in the office. Some of these are fairly obvious, like remembering to turn off lights when not in use, or when it is bright outside, as well as keeping computers in power save mode when you’re not using them. Some are a little less obvious, like switching to low energy bulbs, more energy efficient building materials and installing window treatments that make the most of natural sunlight.
Why should an office be energy efficient?
A modern office ought to be designed with energy efficiency in mind, not only because most countries now issue energy efficiency standards that must be complied with, but also because a more energy efficient office is generally a more pleasant place to visit and to work in. Studies have shown that people who work in a modern office designed to be energy efficient have less absenteeism and a generally healthier, more positive work environment.
People often forget even the simplest things, like turning off the lights. In a large office, this can add up to a considerable sum of wasted expenses. In seldom-used corridors or common areas it may be appropriate to install lights that turn on and off automatically.
Upgrade outdated systems
If you are still using the old-style incandescent light bulbs, it really is time for a workplace upgrade. LED and halogen lighting is far more energy efficient and cost effective, and if you are using fluorescent lights, ensure you have modern fixtures that do not burn power.
If you haven’t done so already, ensure that emergency exit lights, which need to be on permanently, are switched to more cost-efficient LED.
When choosing bulbs, look for the lumen rating rather than the outdated wattage – lumens measure how much light the bulb delivers, and are used on modern, energy-saving bulbs rather than watts, which calculate how much energy is consumed.
Ensure computers go into power save or ‘sleep’ mode when not in use, rather than pretty, but costly, screensaver displays. The same goes for printers and other office equipment.
Upgrades to other hardware
It’s not just computers and lights that suck energy – and thus costs – from the office. What about the faucets and toilets in the employee restrooms? Are you saving water and bills or draining out the company profits through leaky pipes? Is the refrigerator in the lunchroom energy star rated or a power-sucking dinosaur? What about the air conditioning or heating system? Is the roof of your building sealed and insulated properly? Don’t be afraid to contact a local contractor like Tony’s Roofing Services LLC to inspect your property for areas of potential improvement. Although hiring someone to fix or improve your building will cost you in the short-term, in the long-term you will see more money staying in your pocket rather than going to energy or water companies.
Shutters: how do they help save energy?
Think about how many windows there are in the average office building. Windows affect how hot or cold a building gets, depending on its location, not to mention how much artificial lighting is required. Reduce heat loss in winter and solar heat gain in summer with window awnings in modern, water-resistant fabrics that will not fade over time. Window shutters are even more effective at insulating an office or home from the extremes of weather and also add an extra level of security.
Saving energy and helping the environment should be high on everyone’s agenda. What’s more, making your workplace energy efficient will also save you considerable sums on your operational costs.