Cutting back on energy usage wherever possible is hugely important for small business owners, as it will not only reduce operating costs but can help you to do your bit for the environment too. Make big changes to make a difference are not required.
Below, check out eight energy-saving tips every small business owner should consider.
Turn off the equipment after use
Start with one of the most obvious tips: switch off equipment at the end of the working day. Before staff members leave, make sure that they have turned off computers, printers, lights and monitors.
Pay attention to other areas of the building too, from coffee machines to microwaves and hand dryers – especially if the office is closed on weekends or during public holidays. You may even need to unplug certain devices, as some electrical devices continue to drain energy, also known as ‘phantom power’, even if they are turned off.
Switch to LED light bulbs
It’s not enough to just turn the lights off at the end of the day. In Australia, lighting is responsible for 10% of the average electricity budget. Make the most of natural light as much as possible, especially during the summer months. When you have no choice but to rely on artificial lighting, make sure to use energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the office.
LED light bulbs use up to 75% less electricity in comparison to regular halogen bulbs. Therefore, Energy-efficient LED exit signs are also worthy of consideration. Although an investment at first, they not only save energy but have a life expectancy of up to 50,000 hours in the average workplace.
Sensors are also a great way to cut down on energy costs, as they will only turn on when people are present.
Use hibernation features
You shouldn’t just wait until the end of the day to save energy in the workplace. It’s a great idea to ask staff members to put their computers into hibernation mode if they head to a meeting or go on their lunch break.
Instead of having to turn the computer on and off, users can simply pick up where they left off.
Upgrade outdated equipment
Old office equipment that is no longer working at its maximum efficiency will only use up unnecessary energy, which will cost the business more money. To use cheap electricity, swap them out for energy-efficient devices. Although an investment at first, they will use less energy and save you money in the long run.
Do you need to print that?
Although a large number of businesses no longer rely on the printer, there is still the opportunity to save energy by cutting down on the amount of printing you do.
Encourage staff members to use alternative methods of storing and sharing data online. For example, if you need to print documents, print double-sided to cut down on paper and energy usage.
Swap desktops for laptops
Desktop computers use up more energy than laptops. That’s why it’s best to opt for a laptop where possible. This could even present an opportunity for staff members to hot desk or work from home when they like.
Utilise the power of technology
One great way to maintain cheap electricity is to host the occasional work from a home day with Zoom or Skype meetings wherever possible. This will help to save energy being used up in the office.
Get the temperature under control
Thermostats need to be adjusted in accordance with the season, as heating and cooling your office space is responsible for approximately half of your energy costs.
Simply lowering the temperature of a workplace by just one degree can slice energy usage by up to 10%. Ceiling fans are also a cost-effective solution for small office spaces, as they run at a fraction of the price of air conditioners.
It’s significant not to underestimate the impact of small changes. For instance, investing in blackout blinds during the summer months will keep the morning heat out while ensuring all door and window cracks are sealed in winter will keep the warmth in.
These simple tips will make a huge difference to small businesses looking to save money and reduce carbon footprint.