When it comes to office equipment, you can make a significant reduction in your energy consumption and energy bills by buying the most efficient equipment, making sure it’s used properly, and getting into the habit of switching it off when it’s not needed.
- Making ENERGY STAR® part of your company's purchasing policy makes good economic and environmental sense. Business work horses like computers, copiers, printers, scanners and fax machines with the ENERGY STAR® mark can save around 30% on their running costs. Find and compare ENERGY STAR® office equipment.
- Replace desk-top computers with laptops and docking stations. Laptops are 50 – 80% more efficient.
- Replace older cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors with flat screen (LCD) models which typically use a third less energy.
- An all-in-one printer, scanner, copier and fax will use half the energy of separate devices, so consider these mulit-purpose alternatives.
Involve your staff
Half of all energy used in offices is under the direct control of staff, so changing workplace habits is one of the most powerful ways to cut energy use. Here are some ways office staff can contribute to your business energy saving goals:
- Make it part of someone’s job to switch off shared equipment like printers and photocopiers at the end of the work day. Ideally this equipment should be unplugged from the wall over weekends and holidays.
- Encourage staff to switch off monitors if they are leaving their desk for longer periods of time, and always at the end of the work day.
- Reduce the load on printers by encouraging double sided printing.
- Ideally, staff should unplug their computers and other equipment over weekends and holidays.
- Unplug those phone and iPod chargers. If it’s warm, it’s consuming energy!
- Encourage energy efficiency in the kitchen and bathrooms. That means keeping fridge doors closed, not wasting hot water, running dish washers only when they’re full, and turning off the Zip at the end of the day.
Make saving energy automatic
Enable power management so as much equipment as possible switches to sleep mode when not used for a set period. For computers this can save 50% of energy use.
Cut unnecessary printing costs by using printer settings that require staff to physically go to the printer to complete their print job.
Position equipment to cut the energy load. Servers can waste up to 40% of the energy they use, creating heat and putting additional loads on air conditioning. It’s not usually possible to turn servers off, but consider placing them on the coolest side of the building; and use natural ventilation if possible. This is also a good idea for shared equipment like copiers, printers and faxes.
Case study: Kiwibank saves thousands by turning PCs off at night
Kiwibank approached office equipment efficiency head on by installing PC management software which automatically shuts down PCs at night. It has been a huge success, saved the company tens of thousands of dollars, reduced energy usage, and displaced several tonnes of CO2. Read more about Kiwibank’s PC shut-down project.
Help from EECA
Saving energy in business
More information on buying and using office equipment, and a handy action checklist.