Office equipment energy efficiency

Draw up an office equipment energy policy


An office equipment energy policy can help you standardise procedures and minimise wasteful practices. Your policy should cover:

  • set-up and use of existing equipment
  • maintenance procedures
  • new equipment purchases

Efficient office equipment set-up

It is often helpful to have formal policies on how certain items of equipment should be set up. These might include the following:

  • seven day timers to be used to ensure that appliances such as photocopiers, printers and vending machines are automatically switched off outside office hours
  • hot drink vending machines to be set to operate at the lowest safe and efficient temperature
  • standby settings on photocopiers, printers and other machinery to be set for maximum energy efficiency

Better use of office equipment

A well-drafted policy will clearly explain to staff what is expected of them when they use office equipment, and what they should do to maximise energy savings. Some of the key points that an equipment use policy would normally cover include:

  • use of standby and power saving modes on computers and monitors - and switching off these machines at the end of the day and at other times when they're not in use
  • selection of appropriate print quality - for example low quality to be used for all internal documents, colour printing to be used only in specified circumstances
  • printing in batches wherever possible
  • all unnecessary photocopying and printing to be avoided - this will also reduce waste

Office equipment maintenance procedures

Your equipment maintenance policy should include details of:

  • which items of equipment require periodic maintenance, and the types of routine maintenance required
  • who carries out the maintenance
  • maintenance intervals
  • record keeping procedures

Office equipment purchases

It's important to have clear guidelines for the purchase of new equipment, particularly if more than one person is involved with purchasing. Your equipment purchasing policy could include the following points:

  • use of preferred suppliers and manufacturers whose products have proven to be energy efficient and reliable
  • a requirement for new items to carry a recognised energy efficiency label wherever possible
  • guidelines on best value to ensure that running costs are taken into account alongside the purchase price - some energy-efficient appliances cost more to buy but recoup significant cost savings over their lifetime
  • task-assessment guidelines to ensure that new items of equipment are properly matched to the jobs they will do