1. Flip The Switch – Lighting consumes about 18 percent of U.S.-generated electricity; another 4 to 5 percent of our electricity bill goes toward counteracting the heat these lights generate. If you find that you and your co-workers have trouble remembering to shut off the lights at the end of the day, motion-detecting lights may be your solution.
2. Go To Sleep – We’re talking to your computers, not sleep-deprived employees. A 2009 study found that nearly half of American workers don’t shut their computers down before they head home for the night, costing $2.8 billion in unnecessary energy costs every year. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests turning your monitor off or putting the computer to sleep before breaks of more than 20 minutes, and turning the computer off entirely if you plan on being away from your desk for two hours or more.
3. HVAC Checkup – Your office may have some energy loss from inefficient heating or cooling in your building. Start with the simple questions: How’s the circulation? Are your air ducts clean? Are your filters old and clogged? In addition, regularly checking and maintaining the stripping around your office’s doors and windows helps prevent wasteful gaps or leaks. Regular A/C maintenance and cleanings will also help it run more efficiently.
4. Follow the Star – Keep an eye out for Energy Star-labeled products, which may slash your energy expenditures by up to 30 to 40 percent according to the U.S. Department of Energy. These products use smarter technology to save energy. For instance, Energy Star-labeled office machines, such as computers, printers and copiers automatically enter a low-power mode after a certain period of inactivity, and Energy Star windows have more advanced insulation to help regulate room temperatures.
5. Lock the Thermostat – Agree as a company on a comfortable average temperature for each season and maintain that temperature, even if you have to lock the control. Install aprogrammable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature according to the time of day. Why cool or heat the office while everyone is at home? In fact, by turning a thermostat up or down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours each day, you could save almost 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bill.