Few would argue the magnificent beauty of a city skyline colorfully lit up at night. Some of those lights are necessary, as there are people working night shifts, or there may be security concerns. But much of that beauty comes at a cost. In many cases, lights are left on long after employees and cleaning crews have all gone, wasting precious and valuable energy. And those aren’t the only things left powered up. So let’s look at some ways businesses can incorporate energy saving measures, whether on their own, or with the help of an experience office redesign company like RI Group.
1. Natural Lighting
The cheapest form (aka FREE) of solar energy is for the taking, so take advantage of as much daylight as possible! The more windows, glass doors, skylights, etc., that let in the light, the less energy used.
2.Energy Efficient Artificial Lighting
Incandescent bulbs may be falling out of favor, but they are still widely used. Incandescent alternatives LED or Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL) can help reduce energy costs, even if accidentally left on overnight. Look for high Energy Star ratings or high marks from other reputable rating organizations.
3. Automatic Light Switches
The use of light switches with timers, light sensors or motion sensors can help limit lighting usage to only those times when it is actually being used. Besides saving money, if a worker comes into a room with hands or arms full, no worries!
4. Regulate the Temperature
Just about every office now uses programmable thermostats which can limit peak energy consumption to when it’s absolutely necessary. Keeping the AC higher by a degree or two, or lowering the heat by a degree or two can still keep the workplace in a comfortable zone and save even more energy and money. Moreover, strategically planting shade trees (away from the windows that let you take advantage of natural light) is a great way to keep the building cool in hotter weather.
5. Fan Yousrself
Ceiling fans keep air circulating, which does two things: 1) it makes the air seem cooler than it is in hot weather, and 2) downward flow in the winter pulls rising warm air back into the room and upward flow in the summer pulls the low lying cooler air up. Both advantages help reduce reliance on the HVAC unit, as it feels more comfortable for longer periods of time.
6. Power Saving Mode in Electronics…and People
Computers, and now even some office machines have a sleep mode that draws less current when they’re idle for extended periods throughout the work day. Encourage the staff to only use copiers, printers, fax machines (yup, they’re still around), and the like only when necessary. Every little bit of energy savings does add up.
7. Energy Efficient Equipment
Technology is constantly improving. It may be time to retire the old, energy hogging workhorse machines, and replace them with newer models that consume less energy. It might cost a little bit, but usually hat cost is recouped over time. Compare Energy Star ratings here, too.
8. Plug the Leaks
Drafts around windows and doors are notorious for gobbling up energy. Use door sweeps, caulk around the window and door frames, and insulate as best as possible.
9. Just Turn It Off
Simple as it sounds, many people are in a rush to get out of the office that they leave everything on, wasting energy in the process. Have your staff adopt best practices for conserving energy, and with some of the money you save, hand out some incentives/rewards. It’s really about building awareness and altering habits.
10. Find Out Your Energy Savings Potential
Last but not least, have an energy audit performed on your workplace. This simple step can uncover your specific energy issues and provide the basis for a sound energy savings plan.
The great thing about these tips is, you can begin implementing them and saving money the instant you finish reading this article!