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Finance
August 16, 2023
6 mins

4 Ways to Boost Your Office’s Energy Efficiency (and Save Money)  

Key take away points:

  • Replace inefficient office appliances
  • Upgrade HVAC systems
  • Switch to LED lighting
  • Invest in solar panels
  • How to fund energy efficiency upgrades

Electricity is an essential resource for just about every business today, but as we have all been brutally reminded in recent months, every unit we use costs money (unless you’re generating your own through solar panels, of course). From the computers in front of us to the air conditioning and lighting, sticking with inefficient systems comprise a huge chunk of your organisation’s running costs, so if you’re looking for somewhere to save money, it could be a simple place to start.

Here 4 ways to boost your office’s energy efficiency to reduce bills and how finance could help you make the upgrades you need to sooner rather than later.

1. Replace Inefficient Office Appliances

How long has it been since you upgraded your office appliances? If it’s been a while, you may not realise how much energy you could be saving by upgrading to newer versions.

It’s not always easy to fund new equipment, especially if it is not essential to your operation, but financing could spread the cost over time and/or enable you to lease equipment rather than buy so you can upgrade to new equipment regularly.

Here are some examples of common office appliances and how much electricity they use. Of course, these are average figures that will vary depending on the brand and model that you use.

Remember that appliances will use less electricity in standby mode, but they will still be consuming power.

  • Air conditioning unit: 500W to 4,000W an hour
  • Electricity server: 500W to 1,200W an hour
  • Projectors: approximately 300W an hour
  • TV display: approximately 150W an hour
  • Desktop computers:  60W to 300W per hour
  • Computer monitors: 35W to 80W
  • Inkjet printer designed for commercial use: 300W to 500W an hour
  • Commercial laser printer: up to 1,000W an hour
  • Small desktop printer: 30W to 50W an hour
  • Home laser printer: 300W to 550W an hour
  • Laptops: 50W when in use (drops to around a third when on standby)
  • Broadband routers: 2W and 20W (the more devices you have connected to your office Wi-Fi, the more power the router will use).

To minimise your office’s energy consumption, you should try to get into the habit of switching appliances off as much as possible when they are not in use. For example, switch off lights in empty rooms, and desktops, printers and monitors do not need to be left in standby.

However, if your office is using old and inefficient equipment, you could cumulatively reduce your electricity usage significantly by upgrading to new, energy-efficient versions. According to the Energy Saving Trust, laptops use around 65% less electricity over a year than desktop PCs, which could result in a big saving for your business. They are also likely to be more efficient in terms of how they operate, so they could have a big impact on your staff productivity too.

Remember to check the power rating on any new purchases.

2. Upgrade HVAC, Air Con, or Heating Systems

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting can represent up to 60% of the energy consumption of a building, so upgrading to an intelligent heating, ventilation and/or air conditioning system could make a big impact on your energy costs.

These systems can be automated to ensure temperatures within your office building never go above or below a certain point, avoiding the need for thermostat adjustment.

Proper ventilation and environment control will ensure your staff have a safe and comfortable environment to work in. This can have additional benefits in terms of productivity, attendance, and morale.

It is also important to ensure your systems are serviced regularly to keep them running as efficiently as possible and to prevent breakdowns.

3. Switch to LED Lighting

LED lighting is significantly more energy-efficient than many traditional lighting systems as it produces more ‘useful lumens’, i.e., less of the energy consumed by the light is wasted through heat dissipation.

LED bulbs use a fraction of the power of standard lightbulbs, in some cases they can be 50% cheaper to power. You could also boost savings by installing timers and occupancy sensors alongside your lighting system so lights will only be in use when they need to be cutting out any unnecessary usage. Because LED lighting uses electricity more efficiently, your business’ energy consumption and therefore your impact on the planet should reduce by at least 50%.

4. Install Solar Panels

Depending on your premises and whether you rent or own your building, you may be able to install solar panels on your roof. The cells in the panels capture the sun’s energy which is then converted to usable electricity for your appliances to use. As most businesses carry out their activities during the day, which is when solar panels will produce the most energy, the resulting electricity savings can be significant.

In addition to electricity savings, solar panels can prevent you from being subject to fluctuating electricity prices in the future leading to greater financial stability, as well as a greatly reduced carbon footprint and a potentially improved public perception of your business through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

How will you pay for energy-efficiency upgrades?

Investing in more energy-efficient equipment could reduce your carbon footprint and save you a significant amount of money on your energy costs, but how will you pay for it?

Paying in cash is not always the most cost-effective route. In fact, an increasing number of businesses are choosing to spread the cost of their equipment and renewable technology over time with a bespoke asset finance solution. Doing so could enable you to:

  • Spread the cost of installation over time.
  • Keep cash in your business for other growth projects.
  • Manage your budget easily thanks to the fixed-rate repayments.
  • Save money on taxes, as leasing costs are 100% deductible.

In fact, in some cases, the money saved through reduced running costs can more than cover the monthly finance payment, making the whole project cost positive while simultaneously minimising your organisation’s carbon footprint.

We have been helping organisations and businesses to streamline their operation and maximise growth through bespoke finance solutions for over 27 years.

To discuss spreading the cost of upgrades to your facilities or equipment via finance, contact the Bluestone team today.

BS.202308.01BL1
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