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As the holiday season beckons the Carbon Trust, the carbon management and reduction company, is urging businesses to reduce their energy consumption by turning off all unnecessary appliances. According to recently released figures office equipment in the UK accounts for 15% of businesses electricity bills (around £300 million a year) and is set to rise to 30% by 2020.
Switching off appliances over the Christmas period when offices are closed and help save businesses a lot of money, and also help reduce carbon emissions created in the generation of the wasted electricity.
In its article ‘Energy Saving Advice for Businesses over Christmas’, the Carbon Trust has made a list of five easy tips to follow in order to ensure the company has a low-energy Christmas.
Switch off the Lights
According to the Carbon Trust lights contribute in a large way to office energy consumption. In fact they claim that lighting a small office for one night wastes as much energy as needed to boil 1,000 cups of coffee. Over Christmas turning off all lights could help to make a huge saving.
Related Article: The Renewable Energy Illusion
Turn Down the Thermostat
Heating contributes to between 20% and 40% of a typical offices energy costs, but by reducing the temperature by just 1°C fuel consumption can actually be cut by 8%. Once the office shuts down for Christmas the thermostat should be turned down so that it is just high enough to prevent freezing; nothing more is needed if there is no one in the office over the holidays.
Turn Off all Non-Essential Equipment
Leaving one PC and monitor on for 24 hours a day will cost around £45 a year, and a photocopier uses enough energy in one night to make 5,000 A4 copies. By switching off such appliances, at the socket, every night and each weekend (as well as during the holidays), the Carbon Trust says that energy consumption can be reduced by 75%, and if PC monitors are turned off every time they are not used during the day as well, (eg. at lunchtime, etc.) then that saving can be increased to 90%.
Other Less Obvious Appliances
Fridges, kettles, and microwaves are completely unnecessary over the holidays when no one is in the office and should be unplugged.
All drinks machines should be turned off over Christmas, and for any staff that will be working outside of normal business hours it is actually cheaper to buy a kettle than to keep a coffee vending machine up and running.
Richard Rugg, the MD of programmes at the Carbon Trust, said: “we all know that Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but for businesses the seasonal break actually provides a great opportunity to reduce energy bills. By simply switching off equipment that will not be needed, such as lights, office equipment or reducing heating levels, organisations could make significant savings as well as cutting their carbon emissions.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com