Economic Energy Efficiency

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Six Ways People Waste Energy at Work

© rukanoga - Fotolia.comSaving energy at home has always been the goal of everyone who pays the monthly electric bill. Saving energy at work, however, is not regularly considered by anyone but the company's chief financial officer. In considering your total carbon footprint these days, though, will require you to following the trail to work. Here are six ways people waste energy at work.

1. Lighting is first on the list to consider where energy is wasted since studies show that commercial buildings waste up to half their lighting energy by leaving lights on when the office is empty, using higher wattage than needed, or using too many lights. The easiest way to solve this energy waste is by having employees switch off lights when leaving a room, installing motion detectors, and installing security lights rather than leaving lights on when the business is closed for the day.

2. Personal printers can waste $10 a year sitting idle all day. Multiply that by how many printers are in the office and your facility could be wasting not just energy, but hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. Instead of leaving them running, turn off the printers at night and combine that with installing a central printer, instead.

3. Vampires do not just come out at night. Vampire appliances like microwave ovens, radios, DVD players, or cable boxes suck energy constantly while they are plugged in and turned on for ready use. To stop wasting energy from them at work, do an audit of all the appliances that can be turned off after work and use a power strip to make shutting them down as simple as the flick of a switch.

4. Computers are a major way people waste energy at work and at home. Many people rarely if ever completely shut down their computer and many makers discourage this. So to save on energy, use the power saver setting on all computers. Screen savers also do not save energy even as they protect the screen. They can be eliminated in favor of a blank screen when the computer is in "sleep" mode.

5. Offices often can have cold spots or the temperature is set too low for the comfort of some workers, who then resort to using space heaters. However, space heaters can be costing the company $1 a day to operate. Perhaps the solution is to consult with your facilities operators to see if they can find a better temperature setting that is more satisfactory to more workers.

6. On the flip side, feeling too cold in the office during the summer likely means the office is wasting energy and losing money in the process. Facilities studies have shown that offices waste an average of 10 percent of their energy use on inefficient cooling. Call your facilities people to have them audit the situation and make sure your employees are on the lookout and report cold spots.

Taking just a few extra steps can markedly lower the carbon footprint of your office and save the company money to boot. If you want a commercial energy audit in the Denver area, contact us today.

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