This article is supported by HP’s Imaging and Printing Group.
Photo: totalAldo via Flickr
It’s easy for small businesses to be energy-conscious and save money at the same time. We’ve all received emails with signatures that ask, “Do you really need to print this email?” If you do have to, an easy, cost-efficient solution could be to print using both sides of the page.Shelling out for energy-efficient appliances now could help you save in the long run. Thermal paint windows, upgraded furnaces, or switching to solar power lighting may seem like unnecessary expenses, but can be sound long-term investments.
1. Turning off work PCs and laptops when away for long periods of time and shutting down at the end of the day are crucial in saving energy and lowering bills. A 120 watt PC for instance could use 249.6 kWh (kilowatt-hour) per year, if we work 260 days a year. If we consider New York’s 17.89 cents per kWh, that amounts to $44.65 per year, per user. Think of how much you could save if you just shut down your computer.
2. Avoid additional waste by using power strips and switching the strip off or unplugging appliances.
3. Energy star a joint initiative of the EPA and the Department of Energy, suggests buying more efficient water coolers because hot and cold water coolers consume more energy than a large refrigerator.
4. Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps. These are said to last 10 times longer and cost 75% less to operate.
5. Buy energy efficient office supplies. Use recycled printing paper, notebooks, cups. Stock up on refills instead of buying new stationery.
6. Recycle. Recycle. Recycle. Recycle office paper, ink cartridges, computers, phones, containers, you get the idea.
7. Try and switch to daylighting using as much natural light in the office as you can. Artificial lighting consumes a lot of energy and forms a large part of your electricity bill.
8. Install dimmers and motion sensors to automatically turn off lighting when an area is not in use.
9. Instead of paper towels, switch to hand dryers. Paper towel dispensers need to be refilled which means the costs add up plus energy consumption to produce paper runs high too. This switch can save up to 90% in operation costs.
10. Consider the office’s water use. New Jersey’s PSE&G (Public Service Electric and Gas Company) suggests replacing old water heaters with tankless systems and replacing leaking hot water faucets, that waste water and energy.
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