Stories & Features

Easy power-saving tips for offices

Image a naturally lit, modern office space
Most of the respondents to our recent survey work in offices, so we've pulled together our best tips on office energy savings just for you.

Office tips are easy to implement, and can help you save (and stay comfy)

Earlier this year, over 100 companies completed our Power of Business survey. Respondents came from a wide range of industries with a variety of workplace environments. One of the most popular requests was for more tips on saving energy in the workplace. So if you responded, thank you – we heard you loud and clear.

With summer firmly behind us, and the dark, cold weather drawing in, we decided to focus on the largest group of respondents: office workers. We've avoided any tips that require major upgrades or new infrastructure since we regularly feature larger projects in many of our other stories. These are tips that almost any office can implement right away, quickly and easily.

To be effective, tips need a culture that encourages and promotes energy-efficiency. You may well have heard some (or all!) of these tips before. You might even use some of them at home. But at work, it's often easy to assume somebody else will take care of them. If everyone understands how to play a part, it's amazing how much you could save. Of course, this isn't all about money – it's also the responsible thing to do for the environment. You can find out more about creating an energy-efficient work culture and tracking the results in this story from July 2018.

10 power-saving tips for offices

1. Help heating and cooling systems to do their job. Keep furniture away from radiators and vents. And if you're heating or cooling a space, make sure all the windows are closed.

2. Fine tune your thermostat. If you try turning your heating and cooling off for set periods, or turning the heating down a couple of degrees, the only difference you'll likely notice will be the savings you make.

3. Make your hot water less hot. Water heating can account for more than 20% of a commercial building's energy use. Yet many offices only use tiny amounts of hot water – for instance, to wash up a few coffee cups and plates once a day. So try dialling down your hot water thermostat to 54°C (130°F).

4. Use natural light. Natural light isn't just free, it's also good for everybody's health and mood. So whenever possible, open window shades and blinds to take full advantage of it.

5. Turn off the lights in empty rooms. Kitchens, copy rooms and bathrooms are usually empty for most of the day, so there's no point leaving the light on when you go back to your desk.

6. Use smart power bars. Smart power bars reduce your power usage by shutting down devices that go into standby mode. Think of all those hours you spend away from your desk in meetings – that's a lot of potential power saving.

7. Use energy saving features on office equipment. Energy saving modes on your devices and equipment generally use around 70% less energy than full power mode. And of course, if there are appliances and electronics that aren't being used, unplug them.

8. Let your screen sleep. Screen savers use the same amount of power as active screens. So set your computer to turn off the screen after a set period of inactivity.

9. Switch to a laptop. If you're not using a laptop, consider one when you next buy a new computer. Laptops typically use up to 80% less energy than a desktop computer.

10. Power down when you go home. Encourage everyone to turn off all their computers, monitors, printers, copiers and lights when they leave for the night, and especially for the weekend. And when the office is empty, don't forget to dial down the heating and cooling systems, too.

Summary

As we said earlier, tips don't work without people's support. Talk to your team and you'll probably find that everybody wants to help – they just need a nudge. To help you get started, we've got four free kits that you can request. Each one includes a step-by-step guide, posters, email templates, prizes, post-its, fact sheets, and more. Just fill in the short form and soon, you could be seeing some big savings around your office.