Ten Tips on How to Save Electricity at the Office
Ten things you can do to save electricity and reduce energy consumption at your office. They are listed roughly in order of the most benefit to you at the least cost.
|Switch off all appliances, air conditioners or lights when not in use.
|Very often lights and other appliances such as water heaters etc, are left on 24/7 because that’s the way its always been. A few simple changes may have dramatic effects to your energy bills.
|Take control of air-con temperature settings
|It takes a lot of electricity to heat and cool large office spaces. People who turn up the heat to maximum all the time on cold days to the point that others become uncomfortably hot or who do the opposite on hot days, not only cause office squabbes over what is a comfortable setting. But more importantantly, result in vast amounts of energy being wasted, especially if the temperature is set to maximum heating or cooling and then turned down later when it gets too hot or cold, and then turned back up again etc. Its far more efficient to decide on what a comfortable temperature setting is and stick to it year round.
|Zero (in most cases).
|Turn off the geysers that only supply hand wash basins.
|Most people dont wait for the water to get hot before they wash their hands. Keeping water hot for this purpose alone uses a lot of energy for very little benefit.
|Make the effort to understand how electricity is consumed at the office
|The key to managing anything is understanding it! Use a consumption modelling tool like PowerProphet to build a model of your daily/weekly/monthly electricity consumption behaviour. The problem areas will soon become evident, as well as the relative costs that can be saved. The benefit gained from an hour or so of effort will yield large results in most cases.
|Critically evaluate the need for all 50W halogen downlighters
|These little lights consume enormous amounts of energy when used in large numbers. They also give off a lot of heat which discolours the ceiling and adds significant extra heat load to the building’s air conditioning system. They should not be used unless absolutely necessary. If they are used in lage numbers, consider either simply switching them off, or replacement with T5 luminaires or replacing the halogen bulbs with CFL or LED alternatives.
|Low-Medium or High depending on the solution chosen.
|Have your power quality measured.
|Power quality problems often have significant costs associated with them. Sometimes those costs are obvious, in other cases they are hidden.
|Replace all old fashioned T8 flourescent tubes with T5 adaptors.
|Modern electronically controlled T5 tubes use 20-30% less electricity. One can get adaptors so that they fit straight into the older T8 fittings.
|Install occupancy sensors.
|These units sense when no-one is in the room and then automatically shut down things like relevant air-conditioners and lights.
|If your power factor is low install power quality correction equipment ASAP.
|Low power factor at maximum demand is like throwing money down the drain. You are paying much more on your monthly bills than you need to. This is easily rectified.
|Consider variable speed drives for chiller and air-con fans and other devices that could be run at slower speeds
|Most electric motors run at fixed speeds. In some cases fans being driven by those motors need not run at maximum speed all the time. By slowing them down, the power consumed to drive them often falls exponetially.