More than one-quarter of Virginia’s energy use comes from the commercial sector – that’s 607 trillion BTUs! Depending on your workplace, some energy saving practices may be easier than others to implement, but every energy efficiency improvement helps — and can help your business reduce its operating costs.
HVAC – Heating and Cooling
- Make sure that areas in front of vents are clear of furniture, paper and other obstructions. Blocked vents can result in as much as a 25 percent increase in energy used to distribute air in your office.
- During the winter months, close the blinds at the end of the day to reduce heat loss and open them during the day to use the direct sunlight to help keep your space warmer.
- Did you know lighting is the biggest source of energy consumption in commercial buildings? Make a difference by turning off lights when you leave your office or cubicle. Place reminders above light switches in common areas such as copy rooms, kitchens, conference rooms and restrooms to help co-workers do the same.
- On bright, sunny days when natural daylight is sufficient, keep the lights off to reduce lighting expenses by 10 to 40 percent.
- Enable the energy efficient features on your work computer, like turning off screen savers that use more energy, utilizing sleep mode controls and developing nighttime shut down protocols. For example, a copier left on all day and night wastes more than $150 annually in energy costs.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified products as they will have the highest energy efficiency ratings. Remember to factor in the future cost savings of ENERGY STAR products into your pricing.
- For laptop AC adapters, battery chargers and other equipment and appliances, use power strips that can be easily turned off. Many products use power even when they are not in use, and that “dormant” time adds up.
- In the office kitchen, post signs reminding employees to turn off and unplug from the wall coffee makers, toaster ovens and other small kitchen appliances when they’re not in use, especially at night and over the weekend.
Your office can get started today by forming an energy team to conduct a baseline assessment of improvements and help co-workers get involved in reducing energy waste. Talk to your supervisors and co-workers and start saving now! Find more ways to get involved (and save money at home) with our Virginia Energy Sense Do-It-Yourself Guide and Home Energy-Saving Tip Sheet.