Looking to explore how you could reduce energy use in your business, to cut running costs and do your bit for the planet?
But, we also know it’s not always possible to get started with energy efficiency interventions straight away – so what can you do in the meantime to reduce energy use in the workplace? Here are our four top tips to start cutting energy use in the workplace straight away.
Power down when not in use
When the Energy Solutions Oxfordshire team visit businesses to assess their premises, they too often see energy-using appliances – computers, photocopiers, water coolers, fans, vending machines, manufacturing equipment – that are left turned on constantly, even when there’s no one in the room or the building.
Making sure these items are switched off when not in use, or when the building is locked up at the end of the day, is a simple way to reduce wasted energy in the workplace.
This may be about ensuring your team is briefed on turning off their equipment when they leave, and that the last person to leave the building does a quick look around to make sure everything is switched off. Equally, many appliances have existing settings and control options which could enable you to automatically shut down idle equipment with minimal effort. Computers and laptops, for instance, can be programmed to automatically hibernate or switch off when not in use.
Turning computers and monitors off at night can save £35 per desk every year.*
Heating usually accounts for the largest proportion of an organisation’s energy use and energy spend – often up to 50%. This means it’s also an area where significant savings can be made.
Energy used on heating can usually be reduced without compromising the comfort of your staff, customers, and visitors, simply by ensuring that heating is off (or greatly reduced) when the building is unoccupied overnight or during the weekend.
If you have heating controls, you should also be able to programme this to occur automatically – as well as checking the current settings or timers you have in place. As a guide, when the building is in use the ideal temperature range is between 18 and 21oC. When not in use heating can be completely switched off or greatly reduced to between 9 and 12oC.
Reducing the temperature by 1°C can save enough energy to print over 40 million sheets of A4 paper.*
Raise energy awareness among those using the space
Different people have different comfort levels and preferences for their environment, so you may find that staff members are often opening windows or cranking the temperature up. This is understandable, but will have an impact on your organisation’s energy use and carbon footprint, using more energy than necessary and losing heat through windows left open. Beyond heating, you might find that some people using your office are more likely to leave lights on when they leave an area, use the printer often, or forget to turn their computer off when they leave for the day – all of which will lead to wasted energy.
All of this can be reduced by opening dialogue with those using your premises (staff, customers, suppliers) about energy use in the building, and how they could be helping to reduce it.
You can also provide regular instructions or communications to keep it top of mind. This might be a reminder in your staff newsletter, or using visual cues such as putting up a poster close to the window reminding people to shut it when they leave the room – take a look a these posters and stickers from EON energy if you need inspiration.
*Statistics from British Gas: https://www.britishgas.co.uk/business/smarter-working/energy-made-simple/offices
Speak to a professional about the best improvements for your space
These tips will help you to make small reductions in energy use, promote environmental thinking at your organisation, and cut wasted energy, but, if you want to make a real difference to the energy use and carbon footprint of your business and premises, you’ll need to explore energy improvements to the fabric of your building.
Factors like insulation, lighting, heating systems, ventilation and more all impact the amount of energy you use in the workplace – and it’s likely they can be improved to cut costs and carbon emissions.
We highly recommend getting in touch with Energy Solutions Oxfordshire to find out what the opportunities are for making energy savings in your premises.
Energy Solutions Oxfordshire is a complete energy efficiency service helping organisations to stop wasting energy – making cost and carbon savings.
Visit the website to find out more and get started by filling in a short online survey to receive a free Desktop Diagnosis Report for your organisation www.energysolutionsoxfordshire.org
Or email the team firstname.lastname@example.org
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