Ways to Save Energy in the Office
Are your office energy bills burning a hole in your budget? Here are ways to save energy in the office.
Smarter Business’s simple and cost-effective energy saving measures for offices can reduce your energy bills by as much as 20%
With energy one of the largest controllable overheads in office buildings, reducing office energy consumption makes perfect business sense; it saves money, improves working conditions (which can increase staff productivity) and reduces carbon emissions, which enhances corporate reputation.
Yet minimising gas and electricity costs in a busy office environment can seem a challenge. With electrical equipment to run—not to mention heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer pushing gas and electricity bills higher—it might seem as if your bills are beyond your control.
This quick overview demonstrates the best energy-saving opportunities for office-based companies and how simple actions can save energy, cut costs and increase productivity.
Focusing on low and zero-cost measures with the quickest payback, it shows how savings in all offices are easily achievable and need not require any initial outlay.
Many opportunities are within the control of staff, which is an ideal way of making energy conservation part of a collaborative effort involving your entire team.
Ways to save energy in the office
Are you getting the best energy deal? Consider switching…
Before you do anything, however, one of the most significant steps you can take to cut down your office energy expenditure is to switch to a better energy deal. This will ensure you’re not paying over the odds for the energy you’re using, enabling you to put the money you’re saving to better use.
To secure an energy contract that suits your usage needs, it’s best to compare prices from different suppliers. This can be a time-consuming process, but as one of the UK’s largest business-to-business utilities brokers, Smarter Business makes it quick and easy, saving you time, money and hassle.
By partnering with us, we ensure that you benefit from the most favourable utility contracts, pricing plans and management systems for your requirements, no matter the size and turnover of your enterprise.
Good Energy Efficiency Housekeeping
Getting the basics right
In some sectors, businesses employ experts to routinely monitor performance and energy use, but energy consumption often takes a low priority on the business agenda of many office-based companies—they under-estimate the extent to which simple actions can save energy, cut costs, improve the working environment and increase productivity.
However, by focusing on low and zero-cost measures with the quickest payback, you’ll be amazed at the big savings to be made.
The cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use, which is why Smarter Business offers customers the tools they need to optimise energy usage and reduce their energy spend.
Whether launching an energy conservation programme from scratch or simply checking the effectiveness of an existing management system, there are several basics to consider.
Responsibility and commitment
Commitment to energy efficiency must come from the top and be backed up by a personalised mission statement and energy policy. It’s also important to appoint a dedicated ‘energy champion’ to drive your energy-saving push. In very small businesses, this may be the owner or manager but in larger companies, appointing a staff member will often improve involvement across the entire company.
Involve and motivate staff
Since all staff members are critically important in energy-saving drives, they should be made aware of wastage areas and be trained to operate equipment and controls correctly. Ask their opinions and encourage them to review their own working practices to increase energy savings.
Remind all staff that good energy management helps to achieve:
- An enhanced corporate image which can be promoted to shareholders
- Healthier and more productive working conditions
- Environmental benefits
- Cost savings
Make the most of available technology
Readily available office technologies can also play an important role in facilitating energy and cost savings for a business. The use of ‘virtual meeting’ technologies such as Skype or WebEx can save considerable travel costs whilst also ensuring that travel emissions are kept to a minimum.
Undertake regular housekeeping walkabouts
To avoid expensive problems later, note and act on any maintenance measures needed. As patterns of energy use vary throughout the day, it’s advisable to carry out a series of walkabouts at different times to get a better idea of where and when energy is being wasted. A walkabout helps to:
- Establish current operating practices
- Eliminate wasteful practices and ensure they do not recur
- Demonstrate commitment to improving energy performance
- Identify opportunities for savings
- Involve staff in reducing energy consumption
Monitor energy use
Understand your energy consumption by reviewing energy invoices over the last year—you should be able to build a picture of your monthly performance. Larger companies generally have meters recording half-hourly electricity consumption and this data should be available from your energy supplier for comparison with your bills. However, if your office doesn’t have half-hourly or ‘smart’ electricity meters, you should record monthly meter readings yourself.
Undertaking such measures will allow for areas of bad energy practice to be identified, which will help contribute towards effective target setting for reducing energy consumption in the workplace.
Contact your energy supplier to request the installation of a smart energy meter. Smart meters will help you to track and understand your energy consumption and you will no longer receive estimated bills, as the meter communicates your consumption directly to the supplier.
Ways to save energy in the office – Your Energy-Savings Checklist
Consider some of the following office energy-saving tips:
- Choose motion-activated lighting options for staff and stock rooms, as these will turn off automatically if no one’s in the room.
- Replace standard bulbs with low energy options such as CFL bulbs which use less electricity. If you use fluorescent tube lighting in your office, you could also replace this for slim line fluorescent tubes, as these use 25% less electricity.
- Encourage your staff to use equipment in a more energy-efficient manner. This could be as simple as only filling kettles with as much water as is needed or turning off computers and any other electrical appliances when not in use.
- Read energy efficiency labels when purchasing new equipment for your office, particularly for appliances such as fridges, freezers and dishwashers, as these provide a good indicator of how much it will cost to run them in the long-term.
Use this checklist to mark off ways to save energy in the office as you complete them: