Save Money On Your Business Energy Costs: How to Be More Energy Efficient with Electronic Devices

16 January 2017

Businesses consume energy in lots of different ways. This includes through the use of electronic devices, such as office equipment, appliances in the kitchen or canteen, and other business equipment. How can you be more energy efficient with electronic devices?

The first thing is to switch off or unplug equipment when it is not in use. This is particularly important when employees finish work for the day. Examples include the following:

  •          Computers
  •          Laptops
  •          Printers
  •          Photocopiers
  •          Scanners
  •          Microwaves
  •          Vending machines
  •          Laptop chargers
  •          Phone chargers

 Energy-Saving Features

You should also make sure energy-saving features are activated and optimised. This includes features on computers, laptops, and other IT equipment. Energy-saving features typically put the device into hibernation mode. Hibernation mode is convenient as it is easy and quick to wake the device up when needed. In addition, it is usually possible to continue working from where you left off.

It is, therefore, a good option for devices that are used throughout the day. Instead of shutting down a computer when going out for a couple of hours, put it into hibernation mode instead—or let the computer put itself into hibernation mode when it hasn’t been used for a certain period of time. Around 10 minutes is about right in most situations.

One thing you shouldn’t use is screensavers. The computer or laptop is still on while a screensaver is running, so it will use more energy than it needs to. Hibernation or a complete shutdown are much better options.

Also, don’t print unless it’s absolutely necessary. Once you hit print, the machine goes fully active and uses energy as well as paper. Always use digital versions of documents when you can.

Buying, Maintaining, and Other Considerations

When buying new electronic devices, use their energy efficiency rating as one of your considerations as the energy cost savings can add up significantly when measured over the life of a device. If you have equipment that is particularly old but still functional, you should also consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient device.

The location of equipment is important too. For example, you should locate equipment like photocopiers (which heat up when they run) in naturally cool locations so that air conditioning systems in the summer don’t have to work harder to lower the temperature. Also, avoid locating equipment in places where they block air flow, particularly when it is close to a heating or air conditioning source.

Maintenance is also important. Equipment like computers, photocopiers, and other devices gathers considerable amounts of dust inside their casings. This causes cooling systems and fans to work harder to keep the devices cool. Cleaning the equipment will mitigate this, and it will ensure the equipment lasts for longer.

Finally, the office kitchen or canteen is another area where you can save money on the use of devices. For example, only turn on the dishwasher when it is full, and do not fill up the kettle every time it is boiled.

Many of the above tips are about policies and processes, but they can represent significant cost savings, particularly when you also ensure that you’re on a tariff that gives you the cheapest business electricity prices available.

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