Energy saving quick wins
No matter how big your office, building or plant, you can save up to 10% on your energy bill by following surprisingly simple steps. If you get staff on board, this could be the fastest way for your business to improve its bottom line.
No-cost energy saving tips
During business hours
- Turn off any equipment not in use.
- Pull up window shades to make the most of natural light.
- Turn off any non-essential lights in cupboards, toilets and foyers.
- Don't use heating or air conditioning if the windows and doors are open.
- Ask cleaners to make sure they turn the lights off when they leave.
- Only keep lights on that are needed for safety and security.
- Make sure fridge and freezer doors are closed.
- See if any semi-full fridges can be emptied into another and turned off.
- Turn off computers and other equipment not in use - this saves energy and prolongs the life of your equipment.
Change the way you use equipment
- If you can, use energy-hungry equipment during off-peak hours. Talk to your energy supplier about off-peak rates and times.
- Think creatively about spotting new energy-saving opportunities. For example, a motel could cut the number of washing and dryer loads by not changing the towels every day if guests are staying more than one night.
- Don't position fridges, freezers and chillers in the sun or close to ovens.
Use timers and thermostats
- Timers on lights, hot water, boiling water dispensers, air conditioners and heaters make sure energy isn't wasted.
- Check the thermostats on devices that have them. If they’re set higher than they need to be you’re wasting energy. For example hot water cylinders should be set at 60oC (55oC at the tap).
Get your staff and colleagues involved
- Getting the team involved is necessary for the success of your energy savings programme.
- Lead by example, and give others the knowledge to do the same.
Run a Switch Off campaign
- Actively encourage staff to switch off equipment when not in use, preferably at the wall.
- Agree on a Switch Off target, such as a 5% reduction in your annual energy bill.
- Schedule Switch Off drives to remind colleagues about the campaign.
- Help raise awareness with posters and stickers.
- Download the Switch Off poster, and request Switch Off stickers by email.
Tune-up your buildings and plant
- Tune-ups can be done at little or no extra cost, as they involve changing existing equipment rather than buying new things. Make one staff member responsible for your tune-up plan.
- Ask your colleagues, electrician, plumber and other contractors for tune-up ideas.
- Book tune-ups into your maintenance schedule over the next 12 months.
- Tune-ups include:
- setting your hot water cylinder to 60oC
- setting computers and office equipment to go into ‘standby' after 10 minutes
- cleaning equipment and replacing filters
- re-arranging office, shop or workshop layouts to maximise natural light and ventilation
- disconnecting unused appliances.
- Install products such as energy efficient lights and hot water cylinder wraps before winter if possible.
Low-cost energy saving tips
Maintain your site
- Clean windows to maximise natural light.
- Make sure fridges, freezers and ovens have good seals.
- Regularly thaw fridges and freezers.
- Set up a contract with your maintenance supplier to regularly check your appliances.
Insulate your site
- If there isn't any already, install ceiling and underfloor insulation in areas that you heat or cool.
- Draught proof external doors and windows.
- Weatherproof your building by filling gaps around pipes entering the walls.
- Wrap your electric hot water cylinder if it’s slightly warm to the touch, even if it’s an A grade cylinder.
- Wrap the first few metres of hot water pipe from the cylinder, highuse hot water pipes and external hot water pipes with pipe lagging.
Change the lights
- Replace incandescent bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), particularly for lights used more than 4 hours a day.
- Replace 36mm fluorescent tubes with 28mm triphosphor tubes - check first that they can be used in your lighting system.
- Make sure the lighting level is correct for your office or industrial site and use timers.
Install movement-sensitive light switches in areas used infrequently.
- Fix timers to office equipment so they switch off at the end of the day.
Use low-cost energy efficient products
- Energy efficient appliances often cost the same or only slightly more than less efficient options. Before you buy, compare any extra cost with the amount you'll save each year.