Office Energy Wastage: The Top 10 Offenders

PCs - the biggest waste of energy in the officeThe office environment contains a number of electrical devices that add to the working of the business.

Yet, with so many devices to take account of, the business is often at risk of wasting energy as well as money.

We have collected the top ten offenders of energy wastage in the office and ways in which the issues can be simply resolved.

  1. Computer wastage: In the majority of businesses there is a computer in the office for every staff member, so for larger businesses computer electricity costs can be very high. Whilst such costs cannot be avoided in the daytime, you can ensure that the computers are switched off in the evenings and encourage staff to shut them down. Otherwise put them to sleep overnight, yet remember that every computer left on standby overnight and at the weekends can waste £20 a year. Multiply that by your number of staff members to realise your potential energy savings.

  2. Switch off the lights: Switching off bathroom or kitchen lights when they are not in use is an easy way in which to save energy and costs. Using automatic switches that turn on and off depending on movement is an efficient method of ensuring that costs are kept to a minimum.

  3. Label light switches: By labelling your light switches, it ensures that no lights are switched on elsewhere accidentally and only those needed are used. It is a simple and efficient way of cutting costs.

  4. Install efficient light bulbs: By swapping older larger fluorescent tubes with slim line tubes, energy can be cut by up to 10%. Old-fashioned bulbs can also be swapped for low energy compact fluorescent bulbs. Lighting usually costs around £3/m2 annually, yet this can be reduced to £1/m2 in an efficient office environment.

  5. Cut down on your tea: Of course we do not mean drink less tea, but making sure that you are boiling the right amount of water each time you boil the kettle rather than filling it to the brim, means that the kettle boils for less time and does not take as much energy to heat. Plus, the tea can be made quicker. An ordinary kettle is often boiled for around 4 minutes and on average 10 times a day in an office. This can cost up to £54 a year. How many kettles do you have in your office building?

  6. Don’t throw away your heating: Offices as well as most domestic situations are often at fault for leaving their windows open when they have the heating on. A radiator or heater is heating your office for a purpose. Suddenly removing that heat by opening a window wastes the energy built up in the room immediately and is a waste of saved energy. If you do not want the warmth, turn off your heaters and wait for the room to cool naturally.

  7. It’s time to open your windows: Whilst in winter it is better to keep all of the windows closed to preserve energy as just mentioned, in the summer months a lot of energy is used to cool the office using air conditioning. Yet, instead of constantly blowing cool air into the room, why not throw open all of the windows and let the fresh air blow in?

  8. Utilise your free resources: The biggest and brightest energy resource is outside and is free to use all year round, the sunshine. Instead of turning on all of the lights in your office, if you have enough window space, open up the blinds and let the sunshine in. You will have natural, bright light and your costs will be cut in the process.

  9. Switch off your machines: The photocopier as well as printers can all be switched off overnight and at weekends to save energy. Make it the responsibility of a staff member to switch off the machines nearest to their desk or install a timer for them to switch off or go to standby automatically. Photocopiers that are left on overnight and at weekends can cost £42 a year per machine. That is a huge potential saving.

  10. Don’t be wasteful: There has been such a shift in the way that offices print and waste paper but there is still some way to go. Printing only when it is absolutely necessary will save energy as well as paper costs. Switching off a printer overnight can also save £21 a year for your business. Many businesses have already opted to go ‘paper free;’ perhaps that is a viable opportunity for your business also?

The top ten offenders for energy wastage in the office can all be resolved and reduced with a few easy and simple steps. If you make it a team priority to monitor the energy and electricity usage in the office, it is likely that the team will work together to reduce energy usage and costs. The potential savings for your business could be substantial and your carbon footprint reduced in the process.

This information was provided by Business Electricity Prices, an electricity price comparison service for small and large businesses. The company is an easy and useful service for any business that is looking to acquire the most competitive energy and electricity prices in the UK. They can be found at

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