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10 Small Energy Changes That Can Make a Big Difference

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Major milestones are not the only agents of change. Even small acts, when done consistently, can make a big impact. This also holds true for your monthly business energy bill. To celebrate Make a Difference Day this Saturday, here are 10 small changes you can make today that can make a big difference for your business.

1. Turn Off Computers and Power Strips at Night

Let's start with the obvious. Too often, we leave our computers on or on sleep mode when we leave for the day, continuing to draw power even when not in use. To prevent energy waste, encourage employees to shut off their computers when they leave for the day. Even better, connect equipment to power strips that can be shut off with a single switch. 

2. Unplug the Office Coffee Pot

The coffee pot might just be the single most important appliance in most offices. But do you really need it to run when no one is in? A regular coffee pot, even when shut off, still drains some energy. Make sure the last person to use it during the day takes the simple step of unplugging it. 

3. Replace Light Bulbs in Your Office

Your employees need lights to work. But do they really need the regular, incandescent bulbs that probably power those lights? Now is the time to switch to a better solution. For a minor investment, your business can switch to more efficient CFL light bulbs, That switch could save up to 75 percent per year in energy costs. Plus, energy-saving lightbulbs have a much longer lifespan than traditional lightbulbs.

4. Install Blinds to Decrease HVAC Costs

Blinds play a crucial role in regulating heating and cooling costs for your office. In winter, they should be kept open to let the sun warm the interior. In summer, they should be shut or at least divert that light, lowering air conditioning costs. Installing blinds is a minor step with the potential to pay major dividends for your energy bill.

5. Use Fans When Appropriate

Once the weather gets warmer next spring, will you really need to turn on your air conditioning immediately? In reality, you can increase both your air quality and circulation while also cooling your workplace using strategically-placed fans. These fans cost less than running your HVAC unit at full power.

6. Consider Your Office Dress Code

How formal do your employees dress at work? Depending on your industry, the answer can vary wildly. If formal wear is the norm, consider relaxing the dress code as the weather fluctuates. The air conditioning may not need to pump as heavily if your team wears polo shirt rather than suits. In winter, a sweater may keep your employees warmer than that same suit, requiring just a bit less heating.

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  • 7. Go Paperless Where Possible

    Going completely paperless is a major step. However, even small steps can help save energy costs. Consider office policies that encourage emailing and other electronic delivery methods over printing. Discourage the printing of anything that can be saved electronically. The less paper you have to manage physically, the higher your energy savings will become.

    8. Recycle Old Office Paper

    Of course, no business can completely eliminate paper. At the same time, you can make sure that the paper you do have to use goes beyond its initial usage. Use old printouts as an opportunity to take notes. When you do have to throw it out, be sure to recycle it rather than adding it to your regular garbage.

    9. Regulate Doors and Windows

    Even the simplest steps, such as making sure your exterior doors are always shut, can help to save your business energy. Ideally, you should try to go beyond these simple steps. Make sure that your team keeps doors shut when possible, but also try to discourage any counterproductive actions. Opening the window when the heat is running on full power, for instance, is not a good idea. 

    10. Use a Programmable Thermostat

    How do you regulate your heating and air conditioning? If your thermostat is not programmable, now is the time to switch to one that is. Once you do, you can automatically begin to dim your HVAC unit after closing time and power it up again the next morning. In the process, you will eliminate the possibility that your office will be cooled or heated when no one is actually working.

    Improve Your Energy Efficiency This Make a Difference Day

    On their own, none these changes will make a major difference on your energy bill. But combine them, and the adjustment can become substantial. In honor of Make a Difference Day, introduce some changes. Get your employees on board with turning off their computer at night, unplugging the coffee pot and replacing light bulbs at their desks. Change may start with you, but everyone in your organization should also be on board.

    Now that you know all about business energy savings, you should ace our energy quiz with flying colors. Six participants have received perfect scores. Think you can top our leaderboard?


    Posted: October 24, 2017