Electricity makes up a significant chunk of most organisations’ running costs. Shopping around for a good deal is one way to keep costs as low as possible, but there are also a number of simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of energy your business is using.
Check our top tips for saving energy at work below.
Heating, ventilation and airconditioning (HVAC)
- Make sure you’re using the right size system for the area you’re heating/cooling.
- Insulation is key to running your HVAC systems efficiently. Insulate windows, walls, pipes and boilers.
- On cold days, close doors, windows and, where practical, blinds to keep the heat in. On warmer days, open the windows to naturally cross-ventilate the area. Encourage employees to do the same.
- Remember to turn the heating/cooling off after hours.
- It’s best to position thermostats away from direct sunlight, draughts or equipment that emits heat.
- Ensure your systems are serviced regularly to ensure they’re running efficiently.
- Replace all light fittings with energy efficient light bulbs. LEDs are the most efficient bulbs on the market.
- Turn all lights off after hours and ask staff to do the same. This includes showroom lighting and signs.
- Motion sensor lights are useful in areas that aren’t regularly used, such as storerooms and bathrooms. This will avoid lights being left on by accident.
- Assess whether you could make better use of natural lighting, particularly in large open spaces such as warehouses. Consider whether installing skylights would be worth it for your business.
- If possible, clean light fittings regularly.
In the office
- Encourage employees to turn their office equipment off after hours and especially on weekends. Appliances on stand by still draw some electricity, so turning equipment off at the power point will reduce energy usage even further.
- Set computers to sleep when they’re not in use. You can set them to go to sleep automatically after a certain period of inactivity, for example 15 or 30 minutes.
- Photocopiers use more energy each time you start them up, so try to run all your print jobs at once.
- Upgrading your office equiptment? Opt for laptops over desktop computers - they use less than half the energy! And if you’re getting new computer monitors, go for LCD monitors as they’re much more efficient than older tube monitors. Just bare in mind that the smaller the screen, the less energy it will use.
- It’s a good idea to conduct regular maintenance checks on your office equipment to make sure they’re running efficiently.
In the kitchen
- Keep dishwasher and dryer filters clean. Wash/dry full loads to minimise the number of times you need to run the machine and, where possible, use the quickest cycle.
- Smaller appliances such as toasters and kettles are more efficient than using the stove.
- Remember not to overfill pots with water and keep the lid on.
- Regular maintenance ensures cooking equipment remains efficient. Depending on use, equipment should be serviced twice a year and regularly checking seals and hinges will alert you if anything needs to be repaired.