Written by: David Rowling on Tuesday 17/11/2015
With winter comes the promise of cold days, long nights, and - if you’re a landlord - higher energy bills.
Luckily, there are some ways in which you can reduce your workplace energy bills this winter that ensure costs stay down without compromising on the temperature or comfort of your offices.
Simply by switching off radiators or turning down the thermostats in areas that aren’t in common use, like storage areas, stairwells or vacant offices, you can ensure that you are maintaining the correct temperature for the common working environment without wasting surplus heating spaces that aren’t in use. If your office has less effective insulation in areas that are in use, try putting a small amount of cling film around the edges of the windows or doors taped on safely to reduce the draft.
Keep on top of the temperature settings, how they will affect your staff productivity, and the impact they have on your energy footprint. Altering the temperature by as little as 1°C could save you money in the long run. Test and try the best temperature for your workplace. The optimum thermostat setting for most workplaces is 19°C. However, for those doing sedentary work in environments such as offices for example, 20°C will be more beneficial. For labour-intensive activities, you can reduce the temperature to 16°C.
Most utility companies offer a free energy audit program to ensure that you are using your energy in the most efficient manner. After this, you will be able to address any issues that are found to be costing you financially, and discover areas you can cut back on. It is then advisable to educate employees or tenants on how to adapt their behaviours or use of technology to comply with the findings of your audit.
With people taking time off over the holiday season, it’s important to ensure that computers are not left on if they are not going to be in use. Make sure employees are therefore shutting down if they are taking time off, rather than just leaving the computers to enter “sleep” mode. Even better, if you can schedule the workstations to shut down after work hours and during the weekends safely and ensure employees save their work frequently, this will safeguard against drains on your energy supply being left on accidentally.
During work hours, try to make use of daylight as much as possible. Switch off extra lights and equipment that is not completely necessary. If you have to use artificial light, opt for energy-efficient bulbs where possible to save you money on your electricity bills.