10 office items to turn off to reduce energy cost

Office equipment is the fastest growing energy user in the business world, consuming 15% of the total electricity used in offices. Annually the cost of running this equipment is around £300m in the UK alone and this is increasing every year.

Making small adjustments to the way office equipment is used can significantly improve the working environment and save money. It is essential to promote the benefits of energy saving to the entire workforce in order to get the best results.

Getting help

Getting advice, and motivating staff to ‘switch-off’  unused equipment can seem daunting and time consuming.  However technology can help with the leg work,  Take a look at EMMA AI,  a service which uses your existing utility data to give direct savings advice, and actions to follow.  Typically EMMA AI provides an ROI of 6 to 12 months, and is plug-and-play.

It sounds obvious but remember equipment is most efficient when it is off

1. Computers

A single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day will cost around £45 a year. Multiply that by the number of computers your business has to understand what this might be costing you.

Switching them off out of hours and enabling standby features could reduce this to less than £10 a year each and prolong the lifespan of equipment.

2. Printers

Switch off equipment at the end of every day and only switch on when required the following day. Enable printer standby modes and print in batches where possible to allow the machine to spend more time in standby than idling. Newer printers start up faster, so employees are more likely to be happy about turning them off.

Install a plug-in seven-day timer to reduce the likelihood of machines being left on out of hours.

3. TV Screen

Switch off  your TV at the end of the day this will do more to reduce energy use than anything else.

Manufacturers have improved standby efficiency – in most new TVs energy usage is typically below 1 watt – so this is an option if you have a new TV, but if you have an older model, this mode may be using energy unnecessarily.

Switching to standby is better than leaving your TV on, but it’s still more energy-efficient to switch it off completely.

4. Photocopiers

Allocate responsibility for switching off machines to one person to ensure this is carried out at the end of each day. Consider installing plug-in seven-day timers to automatically switch off photocopiers out of office hours and reduce costs.

A photocopier left on standby overnight wastes enough energy to make 30 cups of tea.

5. Lights

Switch off lights when room is not use.

Office lights lefts on overnight use enough energy in a year to heat a home for 5 months

6. Air conditioning

Turn off air conditioning when the building in unoccupied

Air conditioning an office for 1 extra hour a day uses enough energy in a month to power a TV for over a year.

7. Fax Machines

Fax machines are frequently left on 24 hours a day to receive incoming messages but they may only be in use for 5% of the time.

Emails are cheaper and save more energy than sending a fax. If a fax is really necessary, then consider sending it electronically. There are many software options enabling faxes to be written and sent via a PC.

8. Projector

Projectors can use up to 300 Watts of power (producing about 0.3 kg CO2/hour). Dimming or switching off lights when you’re using a data projector can save as much energy as the projector uses.

9. Phone & laptops chargers

Unplug your gadget chargers when you’re not using them. If a charger feels warm when it’s plugged in but not attached to a device, it’s still using energy.

It costs less than a penny to charge a phone for eight hours, but unplugging the charger when not in use could make a big environmental impact if everyone does it.

10. Heating

Turn it off when the office building is unoccupied Leave it on but turn the temperature down

A 2°C increase in office temperature creates enough CO2 in a year to fill a hot air balloon.

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