Office energy savings tips
Office equipment is the fastest-growing energy user in commercial buildings. The energy used by computers, printers and photocopiers (per worker) is sometimes more than that used by lights. Implement these ideas in your business and you could see significant savings.
- Turn off machines rather than letting them idle. To conserve energy and reduce internal heat gain, turn off office equipment outside of business hours. During work hours, request that employees use the "sleep" mode and shut off nonessential equipment, such as fax machines, coffee makers and, if feasible, 50% of printers.
- Use a smart power strip. A smart power strip can sense when monitors, printers and other equipment are in use and turn them off automatically when they are inactive for extended periods.
- Select smaller machines. If there is a choice of a small or a large machine to leave running — for example, a photocopier — select the smaller one.
When buying new office equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR label!
Myth 1: Turning off equipment causes damage. People often believe that switching off PCs and other equipment causes damage to internal components. It is thought that the change in temperature resulting from turning equipment on and off harms the circuitry. Modern electronic equipment is designed specifically to minimize these effects, and the reduced running time that results from power-saving features can actually increase the life expectancy of equipment.
Myth 2: Screen savers save energy. Screen savers do not save energy. Essentially, it takes as much energy to display a screen saver as any other image on your computer. To save energy, simply turn off the monitor when itâ€™s not in use or adjust your settings so that the monitor shuts down after a specified period of idleness.
Myth 3: Surge protection equipment saves energy. Some makers of surge suppressors have claimed energy-saving benefits for their technology, even though there is no reliable evidence to back up these claims. In reality surge protection equipment is dormant more than 99% of the time, becoming active only in the event of a voltage spike. Surge suppressors are an effective method for protecting electronic equipment, but they do not have any demonstrated energy-saving benefits.
Myth 4: When a device is turned off, it is off. Many appliances and electronic devices in the office, such as coffee makers and fax machines, continue to use power after they have been switched off — sometimes as much as when they were on. This is known as standby power or phantom load. To stop the drain of power from these devices, unplug them or use a "smart" power strip.
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