You’ve switched your energy provider, you’ve got notices all over the place telling people to switch off the lights and so on, and yet your office’s energy bills are still unreasonably high!
Whether you have a home office or your run your own business, many office-owners out there find that energy bills are a massive strain on both finances and resources, and as a result are looking for ways to be more environmentally conscious.
Well look no further, here are our top tips for being more environmentally aware and reducing your office’s energy bills.
What kind of building is your business situated in? If you run your business from an inadequately insulated building, you will be losing a huge of the heat that your radiators are pumping out. Be sure to get your cavity walls filled, have at least a 270mm thickness of loft insulation down and if necessary consider solid wall insulation! Also remember that investing in this kind of thing will not only reduce your energy bills but will keep your employees more comfortable and therefore more happy and productive!
- Draft Excluders
There’s really nothing worse than sitting in a cold, drafty office and just having to pop another layer on and put up with it. We recommend that you find some really visually appealing but effective draft excluders to help lock in your heat and keep the office toasty and warm in colder weather.
There are so many ways that you can control the lighting in your office. Our first tip is to make the most of natural lighting – fluorescent lights are draining on productivity and often make employees feel less alert. It’s much better for the environment to try and make the most of natural light, and it’s also easier on the eyes.
If this just isn’t realistic for your office, then changing your light bulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs is the first step. If you have a problem with lights being left on your then the next option is to install automatic lighting that operates on sensors and can turn itself off and on when you leave or enter a room – these are especially great for hallways, bathrooms and kitchens.
- Use Small Fridges or Update Your Model
Using an old fridge may seem like a great way to save yourself money, but old fridges have old seals that are ineffective and waste a lot of energy. It’s actually more efficient and therefore more environmentally friendly to buy yourself a new fridge to begin with and face the initial upfront cost. The payback will be reduced energy bills for years to come.
- Provide Recycling Facilities
Providing appropriate recycling facilities is essential in offices where waste paper practically comes out of your ears. The presence of a recycling bin in the corner of the room (or if you want to go crazy – dotted all over the room) not only says ‘we like to take care of the environment,’ but it also says ‘these are here for a reason – use them.’ All in the name of encouraging your hardworking staff to make the conscious decision to recycle.
- Choose Energy Efficient Utilities
Offices should aim to use appliances with low energy ratings and eco settings. Take for example the office kitchen; always ensure that if you have a dishwasher the eco setting is used, and make sure that staff only put the dishwasher on when it is completely full.
Eco settings do tend to take longer to wash, however putting the dishwasher on is the kind of thing that can be done overnight. Depending on the tariff you are on, electricity may be cheaper during the night.
- Heating and Air Conditioning
Being trapped in a stuffy office in the summer months is utterly miserable when there isn’t a functioning aircon. Same goes for the middle of winter when you have to wear your coat while sitting at your desk! Investing in an efficient air conditioning system can make all the difference to your energy bills, especially as this is the kind of thing that will be in use for many many hours. We wrote a whole blog about making your air conditioning efficient, which you can read here.
As for your heating, if you don’t have access to a gas supply, we always recommend infrared heating panels. For the office, infrared panels niftily come in the same size as office ceiling tiles, or can be mounted onto the walls so you don’t have to worry about them being blocked by desks. They can also be wired up to the thermostat so that they can switch on and off on a timer, and can also be set to maintain a specific temperature. We have an infrared panel in the GreenAge offices, and it keeps us nice and toasty in the winter months!
- Paper and Printing
Tip number one when it comes to paper and printing is to use recycled paper to print on in your office. Half the time, employees will be printing fairly redundant documents (that’s step 2 – encourage your staff to reduce their printing), therefore if your staff are printing on eco friendly paper then that’s at least better than fresh paper from a freshly chopped tree which was hauled down just for Phil to print out his to-do list for the day.
Secondly, by encouraging staff to print out less you will be using less paper, using less electricity and overall saving money.
If your employees are the kind to leave their computers on standby overnight, then it’s important to remind them to shut down and/or unplug their computers/laptops at the end of the day, or if you have a cleaner who comes in at the end of the day encourage them to make sure the computers are all switched off. There are also things such as standby savers, which allow you to switch off all of your appliances at once. These are great for just flicking a switch at the end of the day to switch off all the phones, computers and routers in the building.
- Smart Meters
Our final tip is to get your office a smart meter. It’ll give you a meter reading and analysis of your electricity and gas bills and will automatically send it to your service provider – essentially meaning that you don’t have to worry about submitting your meter readings, which is such a pain if you’ve already got 100 things to think about. Smart meters mean an end to estimated bills, because it tells you exactly how much energy you are using in pounds and pence on a convenient digital monitor.
So there you have it, these are our top tips for energy saving in the office. We do our best to implement all of these here at the Green Age offices and so should you!