The office party has been and gone and the final emails of the year have been sent, but before everyone heads home for Christmas, take a second to consider if there’s more you could be doing to save energy over the festive period. No matter how long your office is closed for, the Christmas period is a great opportunity to make sure you are actively minimising your business’ carbon footprint.
Here are our tips for how your office can save energy over Christmas:
Making sure that all employees are switching their computers off before leaving for Christmas is a great start. A single monitor and computer left on 24 hours a day will cost around £45 a year. Multiply that by the number of computers your business has to understand how much it could be costing you. In many offices, people are told not to shut down their computers overnight because it is when IT departments run security and software updates. While this is unlikely to be happening over Christmas, it is worth checking before you instigate your mass shutdown.
Also make sure to turn off any other non-essential equipment, such as photocopiers and printers. Make sure these are actually switched off, and not just left on standby mode, as this still uses electricity.
Don’t forget the less-obvious energy wasters too; kettles, fridges and microwaves can all be unplugged over Christmas if nobody is using them and incoming faxes can be diverted to one machine, so others can be switched off.
Christmas lighting and normal lighting both contribute hugely to office energy consumption. For example: lighting an average small office overnight wastes enough energy to heat water for 1,000 cups of coffee. Turn off all non-essential lighting when there is low occupancy in the office and your company could make significant savings.
If leaving lights on for security reasons is important, at least make sure you have them set on timer devices so they only come on at night. Outside security lights that only come on when someone approaches are also better than lights left on indiscriminately.
And if the last people in your office before it fully closes for Christmas are the cleaners, then don’t forget to make sure they’re on board with your shutting-down policy and that they turn off the lights when they leave.
Heating is one of the biggest energy consumers in a typical office environment, accounting for 20-40% of energy costs, meaning there are big savings to be made over Christmas. A temperature consumption of just 1ºC can cut fuel consumption by 8%. When all your employees have gone home for Christmas, turn your heating down until it’s just high enough to prevent frost. That’s all you need over the holidays if no-one is in the office.
Find out more about how you can save energy in your business: