Energy Efficient Offices Offer Many Benefits
By Angie Mansfield
Creating an energy efficient office offers many benefits for employers and their workforce – not to mention the environment.
Whether a business owner is building a new office or looking to reduce energy consumption in their current space, there are measures they can take to reduce their company's footprint and save money.
Benefits of Energy Efficient Office
There are several reasons to consider building or improving one’s office's energy efficiency.
First, they will improve their company's bottom line – and these savings can be dramatic, depending on their current energy consumption. It will also help to keep energy costs down, especially if other businesses in the area follow the owner’s lead.
Business owners will also be helping the environment.
The EPA estimates that every 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity saved means 1,000 pounds less carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. And an energy efficient office burns through less non-renewable resources.
Build for Energy Efficiency
If a business owner is building from scratch, they can design efficiency into the construction. Things like solar power generators and geothermal systems will cut down one’s energy bill – and may even produce extra power.
Businesses can also consider their location, and build to either take advantage of or reduce glare from the sun to cut their heating or cooling costs (whichever is greater in their area). Make sure the building has plenty of insulation, and use tinted windows to further reduce cooling costs.
Change the Equipment
Energy Star-rated office equipment uses less energy and will save businesses money in the long run. Employers can also consider purchasing laptops, since they use up to 90 percent less energy than desktop computers.
Ditch the old, standard computer monitors for LED screens, which also use up to 90 percent less power. If one’s business doesn't require the screen space, consider buying smaller monitors to save even more energy.
Putting one’s office equipment, lights, and heating/cooling systems on timers or occupancy sensors will ensure that everything gets turned off when not in use. This measure alone can create a significant energy savings for the office.
Change Office Behavior
Perhaps the most important part of building an energy efficient office is to create an efficiency policy for the owner and their employees.
Here are a few rules to consider implementing:
·Turn off all equipment at night, on weekends, and other times no one will be in the office for extended periods.
·Use the power management feature on every computer in the office. This feature will drop the computer to sleep mode after a certain period of non-use, and can turn off the monitor.
·Copiers and printers have a sleep mode, too – but even in sleep, these machines absorb a lot of energy. Instead, power them down on nights and weekends. If employees have trouble remembering, business owners can install a plug-in timer that will take care of it automatically.
Energy efficiency is great for both the employer and the environment.
For those building a new company office space, talk to contractors about energy efficient measures to include in the design.
And even for those businesses working in an existing building, they and their employees can work together to reduce the company's energy consumption, and boost their bottom line.
About the Author: Angie Mansfield covers a range of topics for both small business owners and consumers, including nursery cribs.