As we discover more and more about the effects of climate change and how our energy use directly affects the environment, so these learnings must transfer into our working lives as well as in our homes. In 2016, private offices topped a list of energy consuming sectors in the UK, closely followed by chemical manufacturing, food manufacturing and hospitals.
Ensuring that private offices and other commercial premises are run as energy efficiently as possible will help the organisations based there to reduce the risks of climate change, lower their carbon footprint and even save on financial outgoings making your building energy efficient is a worthy goal for any business to aspire to.
So, how can we transform our offices, warehouses and commercial premises into energy-saving powerhouses? Here are a few areas where significant reductions in energy consumption can be achieved via a whole range of straightforward, affordable changes.
Heating and insulation
An energy efficient office building is one that retains heat without the need to turn on the heating every time it starts to get chilly outside. Check your building regularly to make sure it isn’t letting too much heat escape. Blinds and/or draught-excluding curtains can help insulate windows and doors leading out to the exterior and stop heat leaving the building overnight. Don’t forget to check your insulation and seek professional help from a specialist company like Knauf Insulation to make sure you are getting the most out of your office insulation. Cavity wall insulation will help save money on heating bills, for example, as will UPVC double glazing on all the windows.
Encourage employees to save water by turning off taps in the kitchens and bathrooms and only boiling the amount of water they need when making hot drinks. Wait to run the dishwasher if you have one until it is full. You could also consider collecting rainwater to water any gardens belonging to the building, or plants you may have installed outside or in areas such as reception. Do your research into window cleaning companies that use eco-friendly methods if you have a lot of windows needing regular cleaning.
Light Emitting Diode (or LED) technology is rapidly developing and is now considered one of the most energy-efficient ways to light an office or home. Switching to LED bulbs can save up to 75% energy and they last 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs too. In addition, consider installing timers that turn lights off automatically after a set time, or motion-sensitive fittings that will prevent lights being left on in an empty room.
Power sources and savings
Approaching power sources can be done in a number of different ways. For a start, could you consider switching to a more energy-efficient fuel source, such as a dual-fuel biomass boiler system to provide hot water? Next, look at employee behaviour to see if more savings can be made in this area. Do people switch computers and laptops off when going for lunch? Are they encouraged to unplug phone chargers when not in use? These seemingly minor changes can soon result in significant energy savings over the course of a working year.