No matter the size of your business, you stand to benefit in the long haul if you take the time to monitor energy usage and assess how your electricity, gas and water usage can be reduced in your office environment.
Reducing your energy usage will not only save you money by lowering your overhead utility expenses, but it will also contribute to the overall sustainability of your business.
Here are a few tips that could help you to effectively reduce your business energy consumption and control your energy costs.
Get an energy audit on your business
You have to know the areas where you can improve before you tackle the issue of your energy consumption and luckily, getting an assessment done on your utilities usage does not have to be an expensive or laborious process at all.
Contact a utilities consultancy company and ask them to perform an assessment on your electricity, gas and water usage for you. They will help you to identify areas where savings can be made, explain any uncertainties that arise on your utilities bills and provide you with advice based on your energy requirements.
Often something as simple as switching your supplier can produce savings.
Assess the light sources in your work area
Make the most of natural lighting in your office space by installing skylights and big windows to allow plenty of sunshine in. If you have blinds fitted, keep them open. Not only is a connection and view of the outside world good for your employee’s well-being but the natural light will decrease the need for artificial lighting.
Whilst natural lighting only serves to complement and not eliminate artificial lighting, you can make sure that your artificial lighting is energy savvy by fitting either CFL or LED light bulbs which use less electricity and have a longer lifespan than the standard incandescent light bulbs.
Be smart with your computer hardware
Make a point of shutting down computers and turning off printers when leaving the office at the end of the day or when not using them for prolonged periods of time. Leaving a computer or monitor running for hours or days on end is an unnecessary waste of energy.
Try to avoid using the printer excessively. Not every document that enters the workplace needs to be printed and it is much more environmentally, energy, and space friendly to store information online than it is to print it.
If you do have to print then something as simple as double-sided printing and setting the printer to go into sleep mode when not in use will help save the environment as well as reduce your energy use.
Allow your staff to work remotely whenever possible
Depending on the type of business you run and the role of the employee, you might have the option for some of your staff members to work remotely or from a virtual office from time to time.
Surveys and opinion columns the world over will tell you that this can be greatly beneficial to their levels of work productivity and job satisfaction, and seeing as they are not stationed in the office full-time, this will also have the added benefit of reducing the energy usage in the workplace.
Using alternative forms of energy can pay
Though using alternative energy sources such as solar panels might be expensive to install in the first place, they can provide long-term savings and benefits as you substitute your energy use and rely less on conventional energy supply sources and become more self-sustained.
In some countries, as is the case in the UK, using energy generated from alternative sources is incentivised monetarily, so you could have the added benefit of earning money whilst reducing your conventional energy use.