If you’re like many homeowners, you’re trying to make your home more energy efficient so you have a lower electric bill. But energy efficiency doesn’t stop at home, you can also practice energy efficiency at work. Whether a business owner or employee, you can save energy at work and reduce the company’s electric bill with these simple tips.
Just like at home, your office can fall victim to vampire energy. Vampire energy, also known as standby power, is when your appliance or electronic device is plugged in and uses electrical power regardless of whether it’s turned on or off. Most office equipment experiences only a small amount of energy drainage; however; that adds up over time, making up 10% or more of your electric bill. Avoiding the wrath of these energy-sucking vampires can be as simple as unplugging your phone charger when not in use. You can also purchase a power strip that kills the energy drain from these devices when powered off. Once you’ve determined the best power strip for your needs, you will reduce wasted energy consumption and your electric bill.
Computers, monitors, copiers, and modems are the major office appliances that use the most electric in the office. A study done by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that computer notebooks use up the most amount of energy on standby power. These larger pieces of office equipment also contribute to internal heat gain. So even when you’re not using your device, heat still builds up and the AC continues to run. To avoid these issues, there are several steps you can take.
- Avoid screen savers as they do not conserve energy and make computers a major target of vampire energy.
- Sleep mode reduces your computer’s watt usage. If you are going to a meeting or making a coffee run, turn your computer to sleep mode to save electricity. In most cases, when you have your device on sleep mode, you can save more than $100 dollars per year. Major office appliances should be equipped with the sleep mode feature, and you should check with your manufacturer to ensure that your device is running as efficiently as possible.
- Turn off your devices if you know you will not be using them for an extended period of time. This is the cheapest and easiest way to save energy on those office electronics because you do not need to spend any money and it only takes the effort of remembering to power down your device. If it’s plugged into a smart power strip, remember to shut off the device and then shut off the power strip. This can save you as much as $44 per computer annually.
- Unplug your device if it is seldom used. It is important to remember that once the device is turned off, it should then be unplugged from the outlet to avoid vampire energy.
Try to be more conscious of how your office equipment is using up energy and identify what needs to be plugged in and what doesn’t. It could save you and your company money in the long run.