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6 Energy Saving Tips for Offices

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On average, energy costs make up 19 percent of total expenditures for a typical office building. That translates to about $1.34 on electricity and 18 cents on natural gas per square foot. 

However, office buildings possess significant savings potential, especially with heating, cooling, lighting, and use of office equipment. By making some small building adjustments and simple behavioral changes, offices can unlock meaningful energy savings. 

Here are six energy saving tips for commercial office buildings. 

1. Lower ambient temperature.

During cold months, lowering the office thermostat two degrees Fahrenheit could save enough energy to print over 41.4 million sheets of letter-sized paper. 

2. Turn off lights.

Encourage employees and coworkers to turn off lights when not in use. If it's sunny outside, use daylight — it's free. 

3. Reduce heating and cooling losses.

By improving roof insulation and reducing leaks at windows and doors, an office could cut heat loss by up to 25 percent. Additionally, painting the office roof with a reflective color can cut peak cooling demand by 15-20 percent. 

4. Conduct lighting maintenance. 

Through simple lighting maintenance, an office could reduce energy costs by up to 15 percent. Energy-efficient light bulbs — which include halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs)use up to 80 percent less energy than conventional lighting and can last up to 25 times longer.

If your office currently uses T12 fluorescent lights, consider switching to T8 lamps and electronic ballasts. The switch could reduce your office lighting energy consumption by up to 35 percent. 

5. Turn off computer monitors. 

Office computer monitors use a lot of energy — about 100 watts per day. If left on during nights and weekends, that can tag an extra $30 onto an office's annual energy bill. Ensure that monitors are set on automatic sleep mode or are manually turned off when not in use. 

6. Switch to a laptop.  

On average, laptop computers consume 80 percent less energy than desktop computers, and do so much more efficiently. Laptops generally peak at a maximum draw of 60 watts, where common desktop computers can peak around 175 watts. To save money and energy, consider purchasing laptop for your next computer.

For more information on how offices can reduce their energy costs, check out this infographic. And to learn how commercial buildings can better predict and optimize their energy use, check out this recent blog post on BuildingIQ

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Posted: September 03, 2015