It is difficult to talk about energy for companies without reducing the issue to the challenge of costs in industry. This quota, however, also includes the thousands of offices that have either resisted the telecommuting, or have returned to face-to-face after the pandemic.
In 2019, the last year for which INE data is available, only 25% of all electrical energy consumed went to homes. The economy, for its part, took 69.67% of the cake ; much heavier and more important percentage at the national level.
Companies, unlike at home, include energy costs in their cost forecasts . An average office knows that it needs electricity to light, run office automation, and maintain home appliances. Why then do we often forget to save energy at work?
We tend to think that since the cost is transferred to the company, we have no responsibility for whether the electricity bill is higher or lower. The problem is that businesses also face the rise in energy prices of the wholesale market, and this may end up having repercussions on salary progression.
It is not surprising that, according to the Association of Companies with Large Energy Consumption (AEGE), the energy cost assumed by industries to operate has increased from 60% to more than 75% . How can we help from our corner of the office?
The answer is simple. Just move awareness of savings and sustainability that we already cultivate at home, day by day of the working day. In this article we tell you how to save energy at work without investments or great strategic efforts.
First step to saving energy at work
Monitoring is synonymous with saving. You cannot cut your company’s energy consumption if you do not know exactly how much electricity and gas is consumed; what are the main sources of demand; how many users are involved in managing consumer devices.
Do you want tips to save energy at work? Well, start by analyzing the business situation . Check out invoices and calculates the cost of electricity and heating each month. Identify the period of the year in which you should make a greater sustainability effort.
Do you have many computers? Any specific device in your sector? Answering all these questions will allow you to take concrete steps to cut waste in those critical areas.
Keep in mind that communication is essential to achieve your energy goals. Saving energy in the company is not a matter of a single person, but requires the collaboration of the entire workforce.
” In many cases, the most complicated thing may be reaching agreements between the people who use common spaces, when selecting the appropriate temperature and lighting levels “, explains IDAE. In short: monitor and communicate.
Tip 1 to save energy at work: light
The goal should be to provide sufficient lighting for employees to perform efficiently and without fatigue, while also avoiding waste and excess power. Keep in mind that electricity can account for 30% of all the company’s energy consumption .
IDAE assures that only for replace lamps and bulbs Through more efficient technologies, up to 50% savings in consumption for the aforementioned lighting can be achieved. What steps can we take in this regard?
- Take advantage of natural light : relocate any object that blocks the light coming through the windows. In this sense, you will be able to reduce consumption by placing the tables and chairs near the windows themselves. Sure, try to keep the blinds always up.
- Don’t forget to turn off the lights : in the UK around half of businesses leave the lights on at weekends. Incredible true? Try to use only the essential light bulbs, urging with posters that employees do not forget. With this you will be able to reduce consumption by up to 10%.
- Replace the light bulbs: energy saving lamps and fluorescent tubes consume around 75% less energy than the homonymous incandescent ones. They also emit only a quarter of their heat and last eight times as long.
- Install lighting controllers : bet on presence detectors in transit areas, bet on lights located in workstations and consider placing dimmers near windows. You will save 15 to 50% energy.
- Perform correct maintenance : the lamps get dirty over time. This causes them to need more energy to illuminate the same thing. Plan periodic maintenance to avoid it.
- Check the emergency lights : this lighting is constantly on. Although they are very low power bulbs, by replacing them with LED alternatives you will also be able to cut the bill considerably.
Tip 2 to save energy at work: air conditioning
It’s no mystery to businesses that office temperature directly influences employee productivity . The INSHT ensures that specific ranges must be maintained to ensure the comfort of the insole:
- Summer : between 23ºC and 26ºC
- Winter : between 20ºC and 24ºC
What’s happening? Well, unlike what you could do at home to save money, the office seeks optimization without resorting to using less heating and air conditioning.air-conditioning. That’s why in this game it goes approximately 50% of the total energy consumption.
- Reinforce the windows: It is one of the critical points of the isolation. For every m2 of surface area, 12 kg of diesel equivalent are lost. That is why it is advisable to go for double glazing and thethermal bridge break(by carpentry).
- Optimize awnings and blinds : protect windows in winter with these elements. In case of having a facade with South orientation, the safest thing is that you will have to use awnings and other protections to avoid the heat in winter.
- Look for natural ventilation : by better distributing the workspace, you will ensure that there are internal drafts between windows (especially in the early hours of the morning). IDAE explains that these ensure that ” temperatures remain at comfortable levels in summer “.
- The rest of the day, the windows closed : there is no point in turning on the heating or air conditioning if we have open windows and/or doors. Try to educate employees so they don’t waste energy.
- Watch the thermostats: the variation of 1ºC in the temperature supposes a saving of 6 – 10% of energy. That is why it is advisable not to leave the responsibility of managing these controllers to employees.
- Turn off idle devices : Copiers, scanners, and other ancillary devices tend to be left on. You should know that these, in addition to consuming electricity, generate heat that impacts the cost of air conditioning during the summer.
- clear the radiators: It is common for office transmitters to be hidden in cupboards, buried under folders, and ultimately confined to an awkward spatial position. It is good that you regulate them with thermostatic valves, but also that you keep them clear.
- Program the air conditioning : in this way you will prevent the heating and air conditioning from being left on all night. IDAE estimates that up to 50% of the energy consumed is recorded outside of working hours. Can you heat or cool the office by zones? Better.
Tip 3 to save energy at work: office automation
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we say “how to save energy at work”. Computers, printers, faxes, photocopiers; All this represents around 20% of electricity consumption in the office . PCs alone account for half of that percentage.
It is true that there are devices that we cannot turn off for purely practical reasons, but there are many others that can. Ignoring this energy item just because it is complex is highly irresponsible in terms of sustainability; because they waste electricity and force us to consume more in air conditioning .
- Computers, only when they are necessary: turn them off in breaks of more than an hour (do not leave them on stand-by because they continue consuming). Suspend them when the break is less than 30 minutes, and hibernate them for much longer breaks.
- Laptops better than desktops : Laptops use 50% less power than desktops over the same period of time. Currently this provision no longer means giving up power or capabilities.
- Keep an eye on the monitors : it is advisable to turn them off when stopped for more than 10 minutes, adjust the brightness level (to save 15-20% energy, and extend battery life by 40%), and choose black images for the screensaver (you will cut consumption by 25%).
- Put an end to stand-by : phantom consumption is one of the main energy enemies of companies. A device in stand-by can consume 15% of the electricity that it would spend in normal mode. Find all the pilots and turn them off. Do you have smart plugs? Abuse them.
- Optimizes printers – Inkjet-powered models use 80% less power than laser alternatives. That to start. Try to always print double-sided, configure a centralized shutdown of all equipment and give priority to the cloud over physical paper.
- Beware of photocopiers : these devices usually offer 1kW of power, so their impact on the bill is not insignificant. Try to stack jobs before you send them, set power saving mode if you offer it, and try to encourage employees to turn off the device when they leave the office.
Tip 4 to save energy at work: elevators
Did you think they don’t matter? If you want to save energy at work you will also have to monitor consumption and the use of elevators . After all, these devices also use electricity, and you end up paying for this through the building’s Community.
Here we know that you don’t always have much decision-making capacity (unless the entire building is yours), so you have to make a consistent effort according to each one’s situation.
- Choose the most efficient type of elevator : the most modern electric elevators consume 60% less energy and emit 10 times less noise than hydraulic elevators.
- Encourage the use of stairs : Promote healthy habits for employees to go up and down the office by stairs (especially if it is located on the first three floors of the building).
- Do not press all the buttons at the same time : it is habitual and unconscious, but it is a waste of energy. If there is more than one lift, it is advisable to call only one to prevent several going up or down at the same time, multiplying consumption.
Tip 5 to save energy at work: water
No, offices are not immune to the impact that DHW has on the electricity and gas bill . To save energy at work you will have to promote sustainability in the bathrooms and kitchen as well.
- Hot water only when it is essential : we would tell you that, unless your employees take a shower in the office, the use of DHW at work is completely optional. Its consumption can be reduced to the tea and infusion machine.
- Avoid wasting water: close the tap when you are soaping the tupperware and run the dishwasher (if there is one) only when it has reached its maximum load capacity.
- Be careful with the cistern : do not use the toilet as a wastebasket, try to flush the chain only when necessary and maintain an active maintenance policy in case of leaks or breakdowns. Double button models consume 70% less water.
- Control and monitor the faucets: bet on models with flow reduction to cut consumption between 30 and 65%, choose detection systems and encourage responsible use of general taps. Remember that “one drop per second is equivalent to 1200 liters per year”.