Open Plan & Drafts
If your office is open plan, you’re best to speak to a commercial fit-out company and invest in screens, partitions and furniture to block and reduce any drafts from doors. Drafts can be simply eliminated, instead of going straight to the thermostat to turn up the heat. Make sure that you don’t have furniture blocking radiators and heaters so that you are getting the most out of your electrical services as possible.
Equipment & CSR Policy
More progressive companies, particularly those large in size, have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan in place. Incorporating an energy reduction policy into this plan and communicating this to all of their staff is key. Items to implement include full computer shut down at close of business, not just switching the computer to standby mode, and ensuring all printers, scanners and photocopiers are switched off at the wall.
Checklist & Employee Responsibility
The best way to motivate employees to implement any policy is to have a visible checklist on display and nominate this responsibility to an employee. Include the maintenance of the checklist as part of the employee’s key performance indicators at the end of the year. The checklist might include checking that all lights and company equipment are switched off, windows are closed, and heating or air conditioning is off or set on a timer.
Heat & Air Conditioning
Reducing your workplace thermostat by even 1 degrees can save your company up to 10% on your electricity bill. Work with your employees to discourage the use of portable electric heaters as these can heavily weigh in on your bills. At a very practical level, ensure windows and doors are closed when heating or air conditioning is on. Any air-conditioned areas that get a lot of direct sunlight through windows should be fitted with blinds to keep out the sun.
Keep any lamps, shades, light fittings and diffusers clean for better brightness. Any security lighting for after-hours should be turned off during daylight business hours. Setting timers can help with this. If it’s a bright sunny day, and daylight is efficient to work with, turn off lighting, especially if your desks are next to windows