SMEs often run on a tight operational budget. Cost savings can be achieved in various areas of the business, especially on the energy bill. For business ethics reasons, it may also be interesting to adopt good practises and encourage your employees to do the same.
Energy savings at the office can be achieved in four key areas:
1. Electronic devices
Computers, monitors, printers, copiers… You may not think about shutting them down at the end of the day, perhaps by oversight, or maybe voluntarily to avoid waiting for the device to boot up on the following morning. Nevertheless, by turning off your office electronics every evening, you can save up to several hundred dollars on your electricity bill at the end of the year.
Standby mode is an interesting feature that can be programmed for short absences during the day: meetings, lunch breaks… If your device is on standby during those moments, you can make additional energy savings throughout the year.
Lastly, if you need to replace your electronic devices, consider investing in Energy Star models, which use less electricity both in use and in standby mode.
Lighting can be a considerable source of wasted energy in the office. Of course, it’s important to remind employees to turn off the lights when they leave a room or leave for the evening.
Efforts can also be made in the company’s overall management by replacing existing light bulbs with highly-efficient LED bulbs.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of natural light. You can greatly reduce artificial lighting by installing bay windows and painting the walls with light-coloured paint. Additionally, natural light is a good productivity and morale booster, so what more could you ask for?
3. Electrical appliances
Small and medium-sized enterprises often have a kitchen or dining area equipped with a refrigerator, a microwave or a water dispenser. For your office kitchen, it’s important to invest in energy star products that consume less energy.
Energy Star appliances aren’t necessarily more expensive, but they yield significant energy savings, between 15% and 40% depending on the selected model.
4. Heating and air conditioning
Just like at home, heating and air conditioning at the office should be used responsibly to achieve energy savings.
Think about reducing heat and stopping the air conditioning in unused rooms, in the evening and on weekends. If your office is equipped with a programmable thermostat, encourage employees to adopt good energy-saving habits that will become second nature when leaving the office at night.
Furthermore, it is important to perform regular maintenance on heating and air conditioning appliances (cleaning and minor repairs) to avoid energy losses. Finally, to avoid losing heat or cool air, check the insulation on doors and windows to reduce your electricity bill.
Saving energy is possible even for small and medium-sized businesses!
As we have seen, it is possible to achieve low-cost savings simply by purchasing the appropriate equipment and by communicating this approach to your employees.
Here’s a summary of key measures that an SME can take to save energy:
Do you have other tricks or tips to save energy at the office? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section!