What's using the most energy in your office?

Is your computer on standby switch it off at the wall at the end of the day  171 6011404 0 14102311 300

In the day-to-day running of a business, there are typically more pressing matters on your mind than energy-efficient practices in your office. However, when the utility bills begin to arrive, you can receive a sizeable shock - particularly in regards to electricity usage. It's widely known that electricity prices are rising. In fact, according to the NSW Business Chamber, $580 has been added to the average household electricity bill in the past five years - and small companies have similarly felt the pinch.

Your small business doesn't need to fall victim to an excessive bill. By understanding where electricity can be lost in daily operations, you can significantly improve your bottom line. 

Computers left running overnight

Leaving monitors and desktops switched on after business hours can use a significant amount of energy - in fact, even maintaining these appliances on standby or switched on at the wall can cause your electricity bills to balloon. According to the Department of Industry and Science, you can pay electricity suppliers up to $150 in running costs each year for a single desktop computer when left in on mode.

To put it in perspective, the state government of Victoria found that leaving your computer and monitor on when you're not in the office can produce the same amount of greenhouse pollution per year as driving a car from Melbourne to Perth. Rather than setting a screen saver mode on your computer, turn the monitor off when you're out of the office during the day. Similarly, encourage staff to turn their computers and monitors off at the wall before going home.

Ineffective heating and cooling

A heating and cooling system that doesn't do it's job can waste a large amount of energy - and put a dent in your small business's budget. The Department of Industry finds that these systems can account for around 39 per cent of energy use in an office building. 

Many of the methods you use in your own home can be used to cut this down in your small business. If you are in a conventional office space, speak to the landlord about installing proper insulation in the ceiling and under the floors. Think about a ceiling fan - while they don't chill air, they move it around so you feel cooler. They can also be used to complement other technologies, even in winter to move warm air around the office more evenly. 

Once you've got a fair idea of where your office is using the most energy, you might find that your electricity supplier isn't giving you the most cost-effective deal. An electricity comparison service such as Make It Cheaper can find you a better deal and potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year on your electricity bills. 

Posted by Richard West