Saving Energy in the Workplace

Top Tips

The Top 7 Tips for Saving Energy at Work

  1. Each energy saving light bulb you install will save you £50 over the course of it’s lifetime.
  2. Using motion detectors to control the lights is a great way to make sure lights are not being used when a room is empty.
  3. Using heat sensors to control your thermostat can help you save on heating, just be sure not to position the sensor near any equipment that generates heat.
  4. Make sure your building has loft insulation at least 10 inches thick. This will reduce heat loss by as much as 40% and drastically cut you energy bill.
  5. Make sure equipment such as computers are turned off when not in use. You can install software to automatically shutdown your computer at certain times.
  6. Depending on the region in which you are based there may be grants available to help you invest in energy saving measures, such as insulation or a new boiler.
  7. Under the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme investments in energy efficient equipment are tax deductible.

However you look at it making your business as energy efficient as possible makes great sense. For one thing, the future of the planet may depend on it but, just as importantly, it’s proven to be a profitable step.

Here’s our guide on how you can make you’re business that bit greener, without putting yourself in the red.

Lights

By now you’ll be sick to the back teeth of hearing that you should always turn lights off whenever you leave a room, but it could save your business a significant amount of money. Even a single 50w light bulb could cost you £50 a year if left on when not in use.

Many common types of lighting are now outdated and relatively expensive to run. For example, fluorescent tubes should be replaced by slim line tubes, which use almost 10% less energy.

You should also be aware that energy saving light bulbs use 4 times less energy (therefore cost you 4 times less in overheads) and last 15 times longer than regular light bulbs. It is estimated that an energy saving bulb, which costs about £5 to buy, saves about £50 in energy usage over its lifetime.

Investing in motion detectors to control the lights can be a great investment as it means that, even if somebody leaves the lights on, they will automatically turn themselves off if the room is empty.

Light sensitive sensors can also be used to save money as they prevent lights being used unnecessarily in rooms that have an abundance of natural light.

Air Conditioning

Whilst it’s important to have a well ventilated working environment, you should take steps to ensure the energy you use on air conditioning isn’t simply being wasted. For instance, having all the windows open will cancel out the effects of air conditioning.

Another tip is to keep heat generating equipment, such as photocopiers, away from the air conditioning unit.

Heating

Heating the work place can be a costly affair. However there are ways you can drive down the cost.

Using sensors to control your thermostat is a good idea, as it means you’ll always get the temperature you’re after without wasting money or overheating your rooms.

If you have your sensor poorly positioned, for example next to a photocopier which regularly gets hot, the sensor will be thrown off and you will not get the heat you were after.

High ceilinged rooms are notoriously hard to heat. A good way to make this easier is to use a fan to ‘push’ heat back down as it rises.

Another effective way to save money on heating is to ensure that you have good insulation in place. This can range from simple DIY tasks, such as affixing an adhesive draft excluding strip to a window, to making sure that you loft insulation meets the suggested thickness of at least 10 inches. Effective insulation will reduce your buildings heat loss by as much as 40%.

Using timer controls is also a great way to ensure heating is only applied at the points in the day when it is most needed.

Always Shutdown

Be sure to completely turn off all electrical equipment at the end of the day. Even equipment left on standby uses roughly 85% of the energy it would in normal use and, whilst newer computer monitors power down whilst not in use, it is still extremely uneconomical to leave PCs on over night. Leaving just one PC on outside of working hours will cost an extra £63 a year.

You can easily install software which will automatically shut your computer off for you after a certain time, meaning even if you forget to shutdown your PC could shut itself down once you’re out of the office.

Government Measures

In an attempt to lower carbon emissions the Government introduced a Climate Change Levy in 2001, which applies to businesses which use more than 33 units per of electricity and 145 kWh of gas a day. If your energy use falls into this bracket you need to take steps to lower emissions or the levy could lead to an increase of up to 15% on your energy expenditure.

The good news is that there is help on hand to allow smaller businesses to finance energy saving measures, including a number of Government funds you can search for using the Energy Saving Trust’s website.

There are also a number of tax breaks you business can avail of by becoming more energy efficient. Through the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme businesses can claim 100% capital allowance on first year investments in energy saving equipment.

Funds spent on energy saving equipment such as boilers, lighting, motors, drives, combined heat and power, thermal screens, insulation and refrigeration can now be written of against the company’s taxable profits.

Increase Your Awareness

You have a much better chance of saving energy if you closely monitor your consumption. You should get your meter read regularly as this will allow you to monitor how effective the steps you’ve taken have been.

You should also look to involve your staff in your drive to save energy. You could even appoint a Energy Champion to ensure that everybody pulls together to do their bit with turning off lights and shutting down equipment they’re not using.

Further Reading

 
2 comments
Ben Dhesi Ben Dhesi
16/05/2012

pass this on to all the staff in your office.

 
Giles Giles
20/02/2012

Automatic energy savers are available at www.eliminate.com for Laser Printers and Water dispensers.

 

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