Energy costs are one of the biggest parts of maintaining an office building. Heating, lighting and air conditioning can account for as much as 25% of your office running costs, and it is likely that this figure will only increase as utility companies increase their prices. Most businesses could save a lot of money if they took the following simple measures to save energy.
Track Your Energy Use
Before you can take measures to save energy, you need to figure out where the bulk of your energy use is coming from. For most businesses, the most expensive systems are lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. You can save energy in these areas by using smart electrical supplies. A small investment in motion sensors and smart sockets that cut off power to devices when they are not in use will save you a lot of money with minimal effort on your part.
Update Your Electronics
If your office still has a large number of old, energy guzzling lightbulbs and inefficient appliances, then you may want to update them. Modern lighting is not just more energy efficient, it often looks better too, improving the productivity and wellbeing of your employees.
Energy-efficient appliances may seem expensive at first glance, but over the lifetime of the appliance you will save a lot of energy, and recoup the investment thanks to massively reduced running costs.
Assess Your Building
Make use of thermal cameras to see where your building is losing heat, and use a light metre to check the lighting arrangements in your office. Once you know where your problem areas are, you can use insulation, draft excluders, and energy efficient lights to improve the energy efficiency of your office.
Train Your Employees
Talk to your employees about your plans to reduce the carbon footprint of your business. Ask them to think carefully about how they use your electrical supplies, and explain some simple energy saving measures, such as:
- Closing the door when they come into the office, so that the building doesn’t get cold during the winter.
- Opening the window in the summer, rather than turning on a fan.
- Turning off non-essential appliances when they leave the office for the weekend.
- Turning off the lights in rooms that don’t have motion sensors.
- Recycling office waste as much as possible.
Weatherproof the Office
If your office building is fairly old, then you may need to make some improvements to keep it warm and comfortable during the winter. Spend a weekend fitting draft excluders, hanging up heavier curtains or blinds, sealing and waterproofing window frames, and fitting loft insulation. These small, inexpensive improvements will pay for themselves quite quickly.
If you have room in your budget to go further with the weatherproofing, for example fitting cavity wall insulation, then it’s well worth doing so.
You may be able to get financial assistance from the government for some office improvements if you can prove that they will greatly improve the carbon footprint of your office.
From Amy Fowler for Juice Electrical: electrical wholesalers. For more from Juice, please click here.