Give Your Office Appliances the Night Off: Turn Appliances Off to Save Money
Your office equipment puts in a full day, and often a full night, of work. Office appliances use more electricity than lighting in the business sector, making it the number one energy expenditure. We know that unplugging our household appliances can save us a significant amount of our energy bill: in fact, seventy percent of the energy consumed by our household appliances is used when they are turned off. Office equipment, including computers, are typically left on during the off-hours, and this can translate into skyrocketing energy bills. You can save a lot of money very easily by turning office equipment off for the night.
How much does phantom energy use cost your business? Let’s take a look. Say you have an office computer. If you leave it on all day, every day, as is common, it costs $39 in electricity to operate each year. This doesn’t sound like much, but what if your office has dozens or even hundreds of computers? It adds up. And it adds up even faster when you leave the monitors on. When you leave a monitor running all day, every day, it costs $54 per year. Again, multiply this by the number of computers you have. If you do turn off your computers and monitors at night, they cost $9 and $12 a year to operate, respectively.
Using Energy Star rated appliances cuts your cost even further. A computer, for instance, can cost $20 annually to operate even if left on. If turned off, it costs $2.00. To save even more, try:
- Try automatic timers to turn machines on and off at night and on the weekend. Powering down your machines is better than leaving them on but they still use energy. If you must leave them on, turn off the monitor.
- If a computer upgrade is on the horizon, consider switching to laptops, which use less energy. If you do need desktops for some applications, see if you can replace at least some office models with the smaller laptops.
- If you do have desktops, consider upgrading to LCD monitors.
- Your copy machine is a big energy hog, but it may need to be plugged in continuously. Check with your manufacturer to see if yours can be unplugged.
- Try smart power strips that combine a power strip and surge protector with an electrical current sensor. You’ll be able to turn appliances off and on much more quickly.
According to the EPA, 80 percent of office printers are left on, 70 percent of copiers, and 30 percent of computer monitors and lights are left on when workers leave for the night. Even if you cannot unplug or turn off everything, you can cut the energy to many appliances. The office coffeemaker, microwave, desk lights, monitors, fans, and other pieces of equipment can safely and easily be turned off. Every business needs to watch costs, and cut them. This is one of the easiest, least painful, ways to do this.