With electricity costs going up and the increasing outcry for energy efficiency in personal and professional spaces, every entrepreneur needs to adopt ways to bring down their energy costs, not only to make cost savings but also to protect the environment.
Today, running a business where electricity is used judiciously and conscientiously has become easier than ever. With cutting-edge tech making its way into energy-efficient solutions, offices, job sites and manufacturing units have hundreds of ways to save electricity and control their energy bills.
Here are 25 ways you can get your office to minimize energy wastage with minimum effort.
- Buy energy star rated electronic equipment, such as computers, laptops, refrigerators, printers, photocopiers, air conditioners and fax machines.
- Use more laptops instead of desktop computers as they are well known for their energy-saving benefits.
- When buying printers, opt for inkjet models as they consume less power than laser printers.
- Maintain a printing and copier fleet that’s appropriate for your business. Avoid buying too many machines.
- Urge employees to turn off lights, fans, computers, etc. when not in use and when leaving for home at the end of the day.
- Use both sides of paper when printing. Use email rather than fax and memos to communicate with employees. Saving paper is also an important way of saving energy and other resources.
- Ensure that lighting and other electronic fixtures are free of dust and debris to optimize their performance.
- Replace conventional lighting with LEDs, which consume much less energy and last several times longer, reducing your energy bills as well as replacement costs.
- Replace fluorescent lighting with energy-efficient LED lights.
- Invest in light systems that come with a dimmer. Also consider installing motion detectors in areas with infrequent activity, such as alleyways, conference rooms, washrooms and fax/copy/print bay.
- If you can afford it, invest in an advanced energy management system, a technology-driven solution that automates control of lighting systems in a building/area.
- To make the most of your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, keep the curtains/shades drawn when the sun is too strong. This will ensure that your aircon does not have to overexert to cool the premises.
- If possible, switch off the air conditioning for thirty minutes or one hour every day. Divide the downtime into slots of 15 minutes or 30 minutes each as per consensus.
- Even a one degree Celsius change in the HVAC temperature can significantly shoot up your power bill. Get your housekeeping team to ensure that optimum temperatures are maintained every single day.
- Install thermostats that can be programmed or timed to maximize the efficiency of your cooling/heating system without causing discomfort to your workforce.
- Ensure that all equipment is well maintained and serviced regularly.
- Make sure that the AC filters, condenser coils, ducting and insulation are free of dust, debris or damage. Clogged components cause the aircon to work harder and longer to cool the building.
- Allocate an annual budget to gradually replace dated and energy-guzzling equipment and appliances with new energy-efficient models.
- Keep the indoor temperature cool and ensure that there is no leakage of air through the ducts. Install blinds, awnings and film on the windows to minimize heat from the sun.
- Be prepared for unexpected outages and downtimes by installing a high-quality commercial generator. Consider hiring rather than buying an industrial genset if you need power backup for a short-term project. According to Marcus Goldman at Generator Power, a diesel generator is much more reliable and powerful than a gas-powered generator.
- Keep only as many printers, refrigerators, etc. as needed. Check if your current appliances have a good energy rating and if they are being maintained well.
- Place refrigerators, ovens, printers, fax machines and other such equipment in a well-ventilated area. Remove machines from areas exposed to harsh sunlight or heat. If this is not possible, ensure that the windows in the area are adequately covered.
- Make sure the refrigerators are serviced regularly. The service technician should ensure that the evaporator coils are clean and the fridge/freezer door seals are intact, to avoid leakage of cool air.
- If your building has a walk-in freezer, you can drastically improve its efficiency by installing automatic door closers. This will in turn help optimize your freezer’s performance and save electricity.
- Consider installing a solar energy system to generate green electricity for your workplace.
You may also like: Investing in Energy Efficiency Ventures is the Next Big Thing