Saving money on commercial electricity isn’t easy, especially in large offices. To effectively cut energy costs, office managers should focus on the following four areas where energy usage tends to be the highest:
1. Control Your Heating and CoolingA programmable thermostat can help your company save considerable amounts of energy because you can automate office temperatures during non-business hours. Likewise, using blinds to control direct sunlight is a practical way to help cut back on cooling and heating costs. Finally, making sure that things like office furniture and rugs do not block your air vents can reduce all HVAC costs by up to approximately 25 percent
- Program your thermostat for non-business hours
- Use blinds & shades to control direct sunlight
- Remove office furniture from ventilation areas
2. Be Aware of Performance & Maintenance IssuesConducting an energy audit is the best way to figure out your company’s biggest energy costs. Usually, it’s best to hire a professional to conduct an energy audit, but you can also do it yourself using the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®—a free online tool. In addition to calculating your energy usage, managers should arrange for annual preventive maintenance for all equipment. Employees should also be encouraged to conserve energy and be held accountable when they choose not to. Think less about punishing your coworkers, and more about incentivizing them to make energy-efficient choices.
- Conduct regular energy audits
- Perform annual preventive maintenance
- Encourage employees to conserve energy
3. Cut the LightsSomething as simple as turning off your lights when not in use can reduce energy costs up to 40 percent It’s also a good idea—and free—to use natural sunlight as opposed to additional lamps whenever possible. Additionally, you’ll want to perform regular lighting maintenance, including replacing old bulbs with more efficient light bulbs. If you ever have any doubts about what constitutes sufficient and efficient lighting, check out the standards set by the Illuminating Engineering Society.
- Turn off lights when not in use
- Harness natural sunlight
- Replace old bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives
4. Turn off Your Office EquipmentAn easy way to reduce energy consumption is to program all your computer monitors to automatically shut off after sitting idle for a set amount of time. Likewise, programming computers to enter sleep mode can also save electricity. As with lighting, simply turning off fax machines, printers, and copiers when no one is using them can add up to significant savings at the end of the year. To make it easier to shut off office equipment, use energy-efficient surge protectors. Then, either have a maintenance specialist make the rounds after business hours, or task your employees to turn off equipment near their work stations when they clock out.
- Set computers to sleep mode
- Turn off fax machines, printers & copiers
- Designate people to turn off equipment