In our previous articles we discussed saving money through minimal printing and efficient paper usage, and even cleaning our computers to keep them working at top performance. Now let’s take a closer look at how we use our equipment and explore ways to save energy around the office.

Did you know if you power down your computer at night, you can save up to $75 per year, per computer, on electricity? Now look around your office – how many computers do you have? Calculate your savings!

Wrangle In The Savings

Clearly there are savings to be had by powering down when not in use, but how can you make it happen? Unless you’re an award-winning cat wrangler, there is little hope in asking your employees to sleep their computers at night. The only reliable way to ensure your computers are quietly slumbering during off-hours is to use system power management features. You could physically visit each workstation to enable standby or sleep mode, or if you’re like most organizations you can use remote desktop or systems management software like Simplify Suite.

Take a look around – what other power-hungry things do you see running? Some laser printers, copiers and fax machines have adjustable power features that can put it into cold sleep sooner rather than remain in warm standby mode. If you are still using an old CRT monitor, save 90% energy by upgrading to a power-efficient LED monitor.

Lighting, Heating And A/C: Your Friend Is Your Enemy

  • Lighting – 40% typical office energy cost is from lighting. Perhaps you could dim lights during the day? Open window blinds to let in some natural light. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, and of course turn off the lights when you leave at night.
  • Heating – Save 5% for each degree cooler in the winter (68° F/20° C recommended)
  • Cooling – Save 5% for each degree warmer in the summer (76° F/24.5° C recommended)

While energy savings are important, we can never completely turn off the heating or A/C, even over holidays and weekends. I.T. equipment can be sensitive to temperature extremes – check your documentation for temperature limitations. In general keep room temperatures between 50° F (10° C) and 85° F (30° C).

With just a little adjustment to your daily habits, you can increase savings, improve your bottom line and protect the environment. Be your office energy advocate and share these steps with your coworkers.