With the threat and impact of global climate change seldom out of the news headlines in 2020, businesses everywhere are increasingly looking for new and innovative ways to become more environmentally responsible, saving energy and money in the process.
Ensuring business energy costs are kept under control is not always easy, however, especially for small to medium-sized businesses. While big companies can reap the benefits of large scale investment in green energy infrastructures such as solar panels and wind turbines, the cost of rolling out greener methods of energy production can be too great for many businesses.
However, as a business, you don’t need to rely on any groundbreaking or cutting-edge changes in technology to save energy and make your office a greener place to work. From replacing traditional light bulbs with LEDs to choosing your new tech sensibly, there are lots of ways to significantly reduce your energy bills and help the planet. For a number of quick and simple energy-saving actions that can be implemented in the workplace today, check out these tech tips for the office.
Although some jobs will require desktop computers, switching your office PCs to laptops where possible is a great way of saving electricity. Desktop computers typically use around double the amount of energy of laptops. On average, a regular desktop computer uses around 100 watts, costing £36.50 per year on average, while a standard laptop only uses 50 watts, costing around £18.25 each per year.
With this in mind, making the simple switch from desktop PCs to laptops where appropriate in the workplace is an ideal way of not only reducing your business’ costs but also saving energy and making your office a greener place to work.
Regular workplace appliances such as computers, printers and projectors use a lot of energy. The average office server, for example, usually consumes around 1,000 watts of energy, while air conditioning systems use up to 4,000 watts, costing roughly £1,460 per year. However, you may be surprised to know that a large percentage of this energy is wasted and can be saved if appliances are properly switched off when they are not being used. While standby and hibernation modes will lower the amount of power a device uses, energy is still being used while electronics are in these modes.
To make your office more energy efficient and save money on your electricity bills, switch all appliances off at the socket whenever they are not being used, particularly at the end of shifts.
Similarly, with data from the Energy Saving Trust showing that around 25 per cent of the average UK business’ electricity costs come from lighting alone, another great way to reduce energy usage is to install energy-efficient LEDs and motion sensor systems throughout the office. As business utilities switching service Utility Bidder points out, these simple changes are quick and easy to implement and can significantly cut down on energy wastage without having to overly rely on employees.
When it comes to replacing obsolete and outdated office equipment, choosing models with impressive energy efficiency ratings is essential. From PCs, printers and projectors to kettles, fridges and microwaves, if your appliances are more than five years old, it is likely a more energy-efficient model will now be available. When buying new office tech and workplace appliances, always look for those items with an ‘A’ or above energy efficiency rating.
Aside from buying more energy-efficient appliances, reevaluating and reassessing your tech to ensure it actually fits your business’ needs is essential. For example, match your PCs, monitors and projectors to the tasks you’ll actually be using them for. What’s the point in purchasing a selection of power-hungry, super high-specification models if smaller and more efficient tech could do an equally good job?
While it may sound like a trivial change in mentality, you are likely to be surprised by how much electricity and money your business stands to save by upgrading your electronics in this way.
If your office currently relies on servers in order to function, now might be the perfect time to think about switching to the cloud. As mentioned previously, servers use a lot of electricity. In fact, they can cost your business as much as £1,095 per year. And if your company uses multiple servers, this can really start to add up. Taking advantage of a cloud-based system is therefore much more energy efficient.
So, if your business has the option of migrating and using a secure third party cloud provider for data and information storage, you could save a lot on your electricity bill and become a greener business in the process.
While these tech tips may not appear to have a big impact at first, their energy and money-saving contributions will really add up over time. Of course, while this requires a little patience, these tips will gradually make your business more environmentally friendly and also benefit your bottom line in the process.