Energy-saving tips for the workplace
Discover bonkers.ie’s top energy-savings tips for businesses so that your profits aren’t being eaten up by your energy bills.
The impending climate change crisis and the continuous rise of gas and electricity prices have forced many businesses across Ireland to re-elevate their energy usage in the workplace.
Luckily lowering your business's energy consumption and carbon footprint doesn’t have to cost you money.
In fact, according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), businesses could save up to 10% on their energy bills by implementing no-cost and low-cost energy efficiency measures alone.
To discover simple energy-saving practices your business can adopt today check out our list of tips below.
Adopt energy-saving practices at work
One of the simplest and most important ways for a business to lower its energy usage is by creating and adopting an energy-saving culture at work.
As a team draw up a list of guidelines which outline different energy-saving measures everyone can participate in such as turning off the lights when you leave a room or closing windows before you put the heating on.
If everyone is playing their part to reduce their energy consumption at work, you will all help lower your workplace’s carbon footprint and energy bills - a benefit that your business’s finance department will surely appreciate!
According to the SEAI, 40% of a building’s energy use is attributed to lighting, therefore it is essential that your lighting fixtures and practices keep energy-saving goals in mind.
Take advantage of natural light
Don’t let your business overlook the power of natural light.
Move obstructions that are blocking windows or natural streams of light into the office. You can place desks in areas where natural light hits, which will reduce your company’s reliance on artificial light and create a more pleasant working environment.
Use LED light bulbs
Did you know low-energy light bulbs (LED) use around 80-90% less electricity than a standard bulb? And they are designed to last up to 10 times longer!
By using LED bulbs in the workplace, you are conserving energy and money without having to sacrifice the quality and level of light in your office.
Turn off the lights
Make sure to turn off the lights in rooms when they aren’t being used and at the end of the work day. (Of course, this is safety dependent but there is no need to have the lights in the meeting room on if no one is occupying it.)
You can also install light sensors and timers to ensure the lights turn off automatically at the end of the working day.
Dress appropriately for the temperature
Wearing the right clothes to work will mean you don’t have to put on personal heating appliances unnecessarily.
During the colder months wear warm woollen-based clothing like jumpers and cardigans to the office, instead of automatically turning on or up the radiator.
In comparison, during the hotter weather, consider wearing lighter fabrics like linen to keep you cool, rather than putting on the air conditioning.
If you don’t believe in the energy-saving ability of dressing for the right temperature, then look to Spain. Its Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, recently encouraged other ministers and office workers to stop wearing ties to work to keep cool in the workplace and save electricity.
Ensure thermostats are set correctly
Did you know that every time you increase your heating by 1°C you increase your heating costs by approximately 8%? Therefore, it's important to make sure your thermostat is set at the correct temperature.
Set the heating in offices to 19°C and cooling at 24°C or higher. In areas with high physical activity such as corridors and storerooms, the temperature can be set lower than 19°C.
Make use of heating timers
Setting timers will ensure you are not wasting energy by heating or cooling down your office outside of working hours.
Use a fan
Fans use up less electricity and are cheaper to run than air conditioners.
This is because fans circulate the natural air in your home, while air conditioners generate cold air by extracting moisture from the air. If you are looking to cool down a small space and it isn’t very humid out then turning on the fan is the right option for you. However, on humid days and for large spaces air conditioners are better suited.
Before switching on the air conditioning or heating
Before switching on the air conditioning (AC), consider opening a window to cool down your office or turning on a fan. These simple measures often get overlooked but they will save you energy and money.
However, if it is still too warm in the office, then it may be time to stick on the air conditioning but make sure all the windows in the office are closed so that the cold air is able to circulate properly.
The same goes for heating up the office. Before you go to turn on the heating, make sure all the windows are closed, put on a jumper or put on a mini heater beside your desk.
During the winter these simple measures may not suffice, so if you’re putting on the heating ensure that all windows are closed, so the heat does not escape out the window.
Repair any holes and gaps around walls, windows, skylights and doors. These holes will let cold air in and will let hot air escape out of the building, meaning that you are essentially throwing money away when you put the heating on.
Other ways to tackle draughts include getting door draught excluders and investing in double-glazed windows or roof insulation.
Invest in energy-efficient equipment
When buying equipment for the office check the energy-efficiency rating label on products.
Products with a high energy rating are designed to consume less energy, be longer-lasting and be more durable than older models.
It is worth paying that little bit extra for more energy-efficient equipment as they will save you money in the long run and are better for the environment.
Turn off non-essential equipment
Instead of leaving computers, projectors, printers and photocopiers on standby mode when they aren’t being used, turn them off. This will ensure you aren’t wasting energy or shortening the lifespan of these machines.
According to IT experts, a typical PC and monitor combination can consume around 200 watts when it is left idle which can cost your business over €200 a year! Increase the number of PCs and monitors by 20 and you can only imagine how much leaving these items idle is costing your business annually.
Use the eco-mode setting on appliances
Select the power-saving mode available on your business's equipment to reduce its energy consumption. This is especially important for items that must be left on 24/7.
For example, by putting your photocopier on the power-saving mode, the amount of energy your photocopier uses is reduced by 92%.
You should also set up the sleep mode function on all the company computers so they will consume less energy when they aren’t in use.
To discover all you need to know about how you and your team can reduce your energy consumption in the kitchen, check out this guide here.
Energy-efficiency grants and finance supports for businesses
Hiring a consultant to create a roadmap to lower your business's carbon footprint or investing in energy-efficient equipment or building products like insulation or solar panels can be expensive.
To ensure your business has the means to become more energy efficient SEAI and Enterprise Ireland have created grants available to support these endeavours.
You can check out their websites to discover the different grant options for your business.
If your business is struggling to cover the costs of its energy bills, you may be able to avail of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS). If your business is eligible for the scheme, it can claim up to 40% of its electricity or natural gas bills back.
Become energy-conscious with bonkers.ie
If you've found this guide helpful, why not check out some of our other energy-conscious articles?
- Investing in solar panels can help lower your bills and make you money at the same time. Discover if this is an option for your business today.
- Discover all you need to know about the Climate Action plan here.
- Find out how your business can dispose of your e-waste safely and properly.
Find the best energy deal for your business
With gas and electricity prices increasing by the day, it's essential that your business is getting the best energy deal on the market so you aren’t overspending unnecessarily.
On bonkers.ie, we will help you find the right deal for your company. All you need to do is provide us with some information, and one of our trained energy consultants will begin comparing energy suppliers on your behalf.
When we find the best option for your business you will be contacted, and then the move to a new supplier will be implemented. It’s that easy!
So cut the cost of your energy bill today with bonkers.ie.
Get in touch
Does your business have any tips on how to lower energy usage and costs? If so, share them with us today. You can message us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.