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Climate change is very real and we are seeing its impacts in our day-to-day lives in the form of extreme temperatures, declining water supplies, and reduced agricultural production.
It is high time for some course correction and the sooner the world acts on making the world greener, the better it is for us and our future generations.
Being energy-efficient at home and in the office is one of the easiest ways to contribute towards a greener and cleaner environment and also to cut down on a substantial amount of energy costs.
In offices, energy-saving practices not only save money and provide unparalleled benefits to the environment but also improve working conditions and increase employee productivity.
According to the Association for Decentralised Energy, more than half of the energy produced in the UK is wasted which, in order to give perspective, is equivalent to the energy produced by 37 nuclear plants!
This results in businesses paying around £60 million in unnecessary bills every year, putting an unnecessary burden on both the business sector and the economy.
There are a few best practices that you can adopt in the workplace to reduce your energy consumption and boost your business. Read our detailed energy-saving guide for offices to find out what these best practices are:
Your first step towards being an energy-efficient organisation is to check your existing connections for any faults that may lead to unnecessary energy wastage.
An energy audit, as you may call it, involves looking at all aspects of your businesses and analysing where changes can and should be made. It involves assessing where the energy is being used, how much of it is used, and any areas of potential wastage.
You may do certain checks yourself and, for a detailed and thorough inspection, you may bring in a professional to carry out the tests and inspections for you, after which, you can identify effective ways to save energy.
When it comes to your property’s electrical installations, using outdated, damaged, and obsolete connections not only results in energy wastage but also carries huge risks in the form of serious property damage, human injuries, and financial losses, in addition to being against the law.
It is a requirement under The Electricity of Work Act 1989 that as a business or office space, you must make sure that your installations are deemed safe for use by your employees and the public.
Have you ever wondered how faulty wiring can cause energy wastage and an unnecessary spike in your bills? Well, it’s simple really.
Faulty wiring and problematic electrical installations cause electricity leakage. What this means is that there is power flowing towards your property but it isn’t fully reaching your electronics, resulting in you consuming more electricity than you actually need.
In addition to that, damaged wiring may cause appliances to heat up, causing the bill to go up even more, which is why you need to check and maintain all the electrical components in your office including the wiring, fixtures, and outlets.
Some of the electrical appliances in offices that use the most energy and must be regularly maintained and inspected include the air conditioners, servers, projectors, desktop computers, fridges, standby photocopiers, lightbulbs, standby printers, and laptops.
Failure to turn off appliances and electrical equipment can cost you big time when it comes to energy wastage. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a laser printer left on standby can cost over £18 over 12 months whereas a desktop computer can waste about £2.50 worth of energy.
Individually, these figures may not seem so substantial, but when you consider the total cost of all the appliances across the workplace and the subsequent energy wasted, it can amount to a lot.
On average, offices waste £6,000 every year by leaving appliances on during the night and on the weekends and bank holidays.
If every office gets into the habit of switching equipment off when it is not in use, businesses could easily save up to 20% of their energy costs.
It certainly pays off to be responsible when it comes to energy use since, for many businesses, a 20% cut in energy costs equates to a 5% increase in sales.
A great way to reduce unnecessary usage of electricity is to install automatic lighting controls to ensure no lights are left on when not in use.
The light timers could be installed to switch off all the lights at fixed times, such as after office hours. You could also make use of sensor technology to detect the absence of people and automatically turn off the lights when no one is around.
Another great energy-saving practice is to take advantage of natural light around the office space and rely less on electric lighting throughout the day.
You can reduce your electricity consumption in the workplace during the day by opening the blinds and making use of skylights and other natural sources of light. This not only helps save a tonne of energy but also makes the office bright and more welcoming.
Upgrading from traditional bulbs to LED lighting can help businesses save around 80% on their electricity bills! Could you imagine something so simple having such a huge impact on your energy costs?
In addition to being considerably cheaper than conventional light bulbs, LED bulbs are also more durable and last much longer.
LED (Light-Emitting Diode) bulbs differ from ordinary lightbulbs in the way that they produce light. Traditional bulbs use a metal filament through which current is passed, whereas LED bulbs make use of a semiconductor – the diode, to emit light through the principle of electroluminescence.
Since LED bulbs do not use a heated filament to produce light like their less efficient counterparts, they have a low operating temperature that not only keeps the bulb from heating up but also influences the temperature in the office and results in great energy and cost savings.
LED bulbs convert 95% of the total energy into light and the remaining 5% into heat. With fluorescent lighting, most of the energy is converted into heat making them reach a temperature of about 179.2 F compared to LEDs 87.2 F.
As compared to an incandescent or halogen bulb, an LED light uses 90% less energy, and you can easily replace a 50-watt bulb with a 5-watt LED.
In addition to being an energy-efficient, environment-friendly, and cost-effective option, LED lights are known to have a positive effect on employee productivity.
Modern LED lighting helps regulate circadian rhythms, which are an internal bodily process regulating our sleep-wake cycle, and play a huge role in employee productivity and health.
By opting for LED office lighting that mimics natural light and has a higher CRI (Colour Rendering Index), employers can create a healthier work environment that can result in the business’s growth and success.
Click here for a detailed guide on the best LED office lighting and how to choose the right one for increased productivity in the workplace.
In the shift towards energy-efficient and more environment-friendly practices, one of the biggest switches is from petrol and diesel-powered cars to electric vehicles (EVs).
The number of EVs on UK roads is increasing day by day, with over 108,000 EVs and 67,000 PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) registered in the UK in 2020.
To escalate the shift towards EVs, the UK government has decided to impose a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030.
Compared to fuel-powered cars, EVs are a greener and cleaner transportation method, and one that can have a huge impact on the carbon emissions of the world.
Instead of using petrol and diesel, EVs work using electricity and need to be recharged after a certain time, similar to how we charge our mobile phones.
EV charging is a huge part of owning an EV and can be done in one of 3 ways; at home, in the office, or at a public EV charging station.
Office EV charging provides several benefits to the business and its employees and visitors. It helps organisations reach their sustainability goals by greatly reducing CO2 emissions and fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Workplaces offering EV charging services to their employees encourage the adoption of greener practices among employees. This is particularly true for those employees who do not have access to home EV charging points and rely on either workplace chargers or public EV charging stations.
Office EV charging points provide a great opportunity for them to charge their EVs during office hours since most employee cars are left idle in the company’s car park during the day.
At present, 75% of EV users are unable to charge their vehicles at work, but the trend is changing with more companies, especially ones with dedicated parking lots, installing EV chargers to encourage the usage of EVs and promote sustainability among their employees and visitors.
To offset the cost of installing EV charging points in workplaces and to encourage the general population to make the shift from petrol-powered vehicles to EVs, the UK government has introduced the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) to offer financial support for all kinds of businesses, organisations, charities, and local authorities.
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), funded by the Government’s Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV), is a grant that allows workplaces to claim 75% of the total cost of installation, up to a maximum of £350 per socket installed and a maximum of 40 sockets across all sites for each workplace.
Certain criteria need to be met in order to be eligible for the grant that includes sufficient off-street parking, a legitimate need for the charging points, and EV charging point installation being carried out by an OZEV-approved workplace charging station installer like Calder Electrical.
With smart meters, you can have more control over how much energy you are using and how effective your energy-saving methods are.
In order to be energy-efficient, you need to keep a close eye on your energy consumption and smart meters help you do that.
They help you monitor your energy usage and consumption and help you assess which practices are having the most impact and whether you should refine your approach for better results.
You can also use smart heating controls in your office that allow you to control the heating via a smart device such as a phone, tablet, or computer.
Smart heating controls are more intelligent than the traditional and digital variants and connect to the Wi-Fi network that enables the system to be a part of a smart office solution.
You can easily adjust your office’s heating settings via a mobile app and control them from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.
Smart heating controls are a great addition to the workplace that help schedule the system to use less energy, which automatically amounts to energy efficiency and cost savings.
They can be programmed in a way to run on low when the office is empty and turn on just in time to heat up properly when people start arriving at the workplace.
This can be achieved through motion sensors and detectors to pick up on when people are around and when they are not.
Many systems also have a learning feature that, in combination with the motion sensors, can be trained to know when people are present and when the heating needs to be turned on or off.
Long-term learning helps with scheduling and saves a lot of time and money making the system smarter and more efficient.
Smart heating controls also allow you to receive reports about how much power you are using, how your consumption has changed over time, and how much it is likely to cost you.
These reports give all the data required to track your usage, in addition to providing tips on how to make the system more efficient and save energy while doing so.
If you wish for energy independence and to create your own clean and green energy – which is the epitome of energy efficiency – you must invest in a good battery storage system for your office.
Battery storage systems allow you to store electricity generated by a power source, preferably renewable energy such as solar or wind, for later use. They work great with renewable energy sources but can also be installed on properties with no solar panels/wind turbines.
Battery storage systems help you save money on your electricity bills, and if you already have a renewable energy source installed on your property, battery storage can maximise your savings.
They also help reduce your dependence on power generation companies and, if your workplace has a big enough renewable energy setup and battery storage, you have the power to be completely self-sufficient.
Battery storage systems can help work towards reducing carbon emissions and may also be used as a source of backup power during power outages.
Regardless of how great your energy-saving plans are, they will all fail if your employees and staff members aren’t on board.
To see results and to make your workplace an energy-efficient one, you need to encourage everyone to be involved which includes the owners, the employers, the employees, and the visitors.
You need to make sure that everyone in the office is trained on the best energy-efficient practices and knows how to use the equipment efficiently.
You can conduct monthly meetings and training sessions to review the policies and encourage everyone to adopt the best energy-saving methods.
It might help to put up posters in the office to remind everyone of the specific ways to save energy, such as not leaving the printers on standby and turning off the lights at the end of the day.
You may introduce friendly competitions such as encouraging employees to come up with energy-saving ideas and reward the winners to ensure everyone is involved and remains enthusiastic about the office’s environment-friendly policies.
For an expert viewpoint, it is best to consult with a professional company that can guide you on the best energy-efficient methods tailored for your business.
At Calder Electrical Services, we offer a wide range of energy-saving services that include:
We have been undertaking electrical work since 1976 and have plenty of experience in the field. The work done by our qualified electrical engineers is fully insured and meets the high standards set out by the NICEIC.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our industry experts right away!
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001