Published: 23 May, 2012
Where's All The Power Going In Your Office?
Offices receive some of the largest energy bills of all buildings. This is in part due to the number of people active in them and the appliances commonly necessary. However, it is also due to irresponsible energy usage. A single computer left on for 24 hours could cost £50 over a year. The truth is that many offices have whole clusters of PCs on overnight, despite there being nobody there to use them. This need not be the case, however. Let's look at some of the culprits of the office with a view to understanding how to come by a more energy efficient workplace.
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Office efficiency is not straightforward – it is a balance of scale and frequency. We may think that saving energy is as simple as turning off a light bulb, but it is considerably further reaching than that. In an average lift, one fifteen second journey uses roughly the same amount of energy as is required to power a standard light bulb for an entire hour.
While it is important that we switch light bulbs off when they are not in use, there are far more problems around the office that need tackling if the office is to become an energy efficient space. You can, however, start by encouraging employees to take the stairs.
Energy efficiency is not as simple as it might seem, however. Take the example of the lift and the lightbulb. If your business employs twenty people, all of whom can fit in the lift for one journey; it may be more economical for them to use the lift if the stairwell has a number of high powered lightbulbs left on all day. There are opportunities everywhere to cut down the amount of power you use.
What is the least energy efficient appliance in the office? This will of course vary from office to office, but in many cases it is fair to say that it is the air conditioner. Depending on the size of air conditioner, it is not uncommon to see an annual kWT output of 10,000-15,000. If your office operates an air-conditioner greater in size than a few tons, it will almost certainly be your most expensive appliance.
This is so often an entirely unnecessary waste. If your office is too hot, consider scrapping the air-conditioner altogether and simply opening the windows. Not only is fresh air always more pleasant to breathe than conditioned air, but it is free.
Make a few changes around the office – sniff out the inefficiencies of your space and deal with them as necessary. When you have transformed your office, compare business electricity prices. Shop around for a cheap business energy tariff (you can use sites like www.energyhelpline.com) that suits your levels of efficiency and realistic usage as a business and you are guaranteed to save a considerable sum.