10 Ways That Offices And Businesses Can Reduce Energy And Go Green
The issues of climate change and green energy use in America are on the rise. It is important that everyone does their bit to save energy, reduce waste and help the planet.
Homeowners are often seen as the facilitators of change here. Energy efficient products, solar power systems, and green strategies tend to fall at their door. However, commercial properties and businesses can do a lot here too.
Offices and small companies can implement the following methods to reduce their energy use. Most solutions are pretty simple. It is just a case of taking a basic principle and applying it on a broader scale.
Ten ways that businesses and office buildings can reduce their reliance on energy.
1) Start With Some Energy Efficient Bulbs
It is important to use energy efficient lighting that conforms to modern testing and requirements. Old fashioned fluorescent bulbs don’t cut it regarding the quality of light and energy used.
LED bulbs are the best option for a clear, green approach to lighting. They should be carefully implemented wherever possible across the building. It is also important to look at every single light that is in use. It is easy to forget how many there are across the building.
Replacement bulbs can be costly, but they will save money in the long run and make the building greener.
2) Make Sure The Lights Go Out When They Aren’t Needed
It isn’t just the efficiency of the bulbs that is the problem here. Some lights left on unnecessarily is the bigger issue here. If a light is not needed, it shouldn’t be burning energy.
One way to combat this is to add motion sensors and timers that turn the lights on and off at the right moment. This cuts the power when a room is empty. The whole office can be on a timer where the lights go out just after locking up for the night.
Workers should also get into the habit of manually turning lights off that aren’t needed.This is a great example of a tip for homeowners that also applies to the workplace.
3) Smart, Programmable Thermostats And Air Conditioning Units
Heating and cooling systems are important for any business. All workers have the right to work under the best conditions. This means heating in the winter and air con in the height of summer.
The problem is that they are energy-hungry systems. Smarter, energy efficient systems can reduce the power needed for more beneficial cycles. Programmable options are also customizable for a better experience. A simple drop in temperature of a couple of degrees can make a big impact.
4) Other Measures To Avoid The Need For Air Con All-Together
We sometimes forget that the air con isn’t something that has to in use in hot weather. It comes on automatically with little thought to the temperature or environmental impact.
We can open a window to get some fresh air. We can cool the temperature with solar shade and awnings. We can even make workers more comfortable with better dress codes.
There is no need for suit and tie in the height of summer. It just increases the need for the air con and potentially decreases productivity.
5) Water Use
Office workers may not think about the amount of water they use during a day. This is sometimes because it isn’t their bill to pay. However, every kettle boiled, faucet run and toilet flushed is water used.
Companies that monitor this water usage can make big savings in the long run and help to save the planet. This can be crucial in summer months in times of drought. Water monitors, new systems, and simple practices go a long way.
6) Paper Use
Paper use is another important way to be an environment in the workplace. We live in a digital world with paperless systems. We now share so many documents and ideas across networks, buildings and even continents via the cloud. It all means that the printed material isn’t so important.
Why print out sheets of memos when an email will suffice? How many copies of a printed document are required? These reductions can save paper, saving trees, and also energy from the printing process.
7) Computer Use
Every office space is full of computers these days. They can be personal laptops in contemporary hub spaces or old fashioned PCs in cubicles. Either way, they use a lot of power, so a lot of energy is then saved.
One of the worst culprits here is phantom power. This is when the product is in standby mode with electricity running through the cord, rather than turned off at the mains. There are also energy saver functions on laptops. Screen protectors are pretty, but not that efficient.
8) Use Energy Efficient Appliances Throughout The Workplace
Energy efficiency isn’t limited to these laptops and computers. Offices need to ensure that every single electrical appliance is energy efficient. A quick inventory of items will show how much power is in use.
Small savings with each one will make a difference. This means office goods like the printer, scanner, and similar equipment. Then there are all the appliances in the kitchen. An energy star countertop dishwasher and microwave will make a difference during all those work breaks.
9) Try Some Shading And Insulation With Landscape Gardening
Any company that owns the land around the building can make the most of the landscaping. The benefits here are two-fold. The first is that businesses can use the plants to affect the heat and light.
Evergreen shrubs insulate exterior walls, and deciduous trees can provide shade. Secondly, tree and shrub planting is good for the environment and its wildlife.
10) Supplement The Energy Used With A Green System
Finally, companies that own their building can also benefit from some additional green energy. This is an excellent way to cut costs and energy usage. A large energy bill can decrease with the right input from a renewable source.
Many companies will benefit from adding solar panels to the roof to offset costs. There is also the option of wind turbines. Again, there are short-term costs here but long term benefits.