It's good practice to establish routines in your business to help minimise the amount of energy consumed by each item of equipment. You could formalise these routines by including them in a written policy.
Some of the routines that you could adopt in your business are outlined below.
Enable energy-saving features of office equipment
Many items of office equipment have energy-saving features such as standby or power-down modes which are activated if the appliance is not used for a certain period of time. Enabling these features can reduce an appliance's overall power consumption by up to 30 per cent, so it's important to use them whenever they are available. If the settings are variable, select the options that maximise energy savings while still fitting in with your working practices.
Switch off office equipment and save money
Switching off equipment when it's not in use saves energy and reduces the amount of heat produced, often making further savings on cooling costs. Encourage users to switch off their monitors instead of using screen-savers. This can be done automatically by most modern computers. Always switch off computers, monitors, printers and other equipment like photocopiers overnight and at weekends if they're not needed.
Use timers on office equipment
In a small business it can be quite easy to make sure all unused equipment is switched off at the end of the day. However, in a larger organisation this may be more of a challenge. One way of accomplishing this automatically is to use seven day timers on appliances like photocopiers and printers. This can be particularly effective for shared equipment that doesn't have a dedicated user to take responsibility for it.
Energy-saving routines for different office appliances
The Carbon Trust has produced a guide to reducing energy use by office appliances. It includes information on energy-saving measures for various different items of equipment, including:
- computers and monitors
- fax machines
- vending machines