With the cost of energy rising and a greater appreciation among businesses and consumers of the need to be environmentally responsible, many firms are looking for ways to become more energy efficient. There are plenty of quick wins to help you easily and cost-effectively cut down your energy usage.
“It may sound obvious, but the costs of keeping lights on when no one’s in the room can add up,” says Eunice. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep lights switched off when they’re not in use. So make sure you take ownership when you see a room or corridor that is unoccupied or has enough natural daylight and turn the lights off.”
Another way to quickly cut down on energy usage is to pay attention to other electrical appliances.
“Turn off items like computers, printers, projectors and phone chargers at the end of each day”, advises Eunice. “Many people worry that switching these off could limit their productivity, as they can take time to warm up again. But this doesn’t need to be the case. If you switch these on first thing in the morning, they should be up and running in the time it takes for you to make a cup of tea.”
Adapt to weather conditions
We’ve recently been experiencing milder weather, so make sure you’re adapting to these conditions and adjusting your heating temperatures to suit. Similarly, it can be tempting to turn on the air-conditioning in summer months when temperatures soar, but Eunice recommends trying natural ventilation, such as opening a window, first.
“Opening windows and doors is far less energy intensive than an air-con unit,” she says. “You can also use internal or external shades to stop glare and excess heat on a sunny day. However, if you do decide to use the air-con, remember to close the windows – failing to do so can affect its ability to keep the room at a comfortable temperature and end up wasting energy.”
Water is a surprisingly expensive commodity and yet it’s often overlooked with electricity and gas tending to take centre stage. According to Eunice, there are simple steps you can take to make sure you’re not using more than you need to.
“If you spot a dripping tap, urinal or toilet, report it to your Facilities Manager as soon as you can,” she advises. “Failing to deal with these issues quickly can lead to issues further down the line – addressing it sooner rather than later can help avoid the need for more expensive fixes.”
It’s always a challenge to keep everyone at the right temperature in an office environment.
“See if swapping desks helps,” suggests Eunice. “Employees who prefer cooler temperatures might benefit from sitting closer to the air conditioning unit or window, while those who feel the cold might prefer to sit closer to the radiators. Also, don’t forget to dress for the weather – wear jumpers in the winter rather than ramping the heat up.”
When it comes to energy efficiency, your employees are your most valuable asset. Getting their support is crucial and to do this, you’ll need to engage with them. Eunice suggests putting in place a structure to help keep up momentum.
“You could set up an internal group to help cascade messages on energy efficiency and collate ideas from colleagues,” she says. “Or you could run competitions where you encourage your employees to create posters, for instance. Another idea is to create league tables, where a prize is given to the department or site that uses the least energy or comes up with the most effective energy efficiency solution. Tools like our online energy management platform, Clarity, let you create a league tabling report, so can help with this.
“And, on World Energy Efficiency Day, it’s worth remembering not to forget about existing initiatives that are in place to help you manage your energy usage,” Eunice adds. “Why not use days like this to celebrate the successes you’ve achieved so far on your energy efficiency journey?”
To learn more about energy efficiency, and for other energy saving ideas, please visit our website.
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