We are all aware of the importance of energy saving efficiency in all aspects of our lives. We attempt to drive cars with better fuel consumptions and low carbon emissions. We switch off all the lights in our homes when we turn in for the night. We all have thoughts of saving the planet. With all this said, it is certainly time to turn our attentions to the empty offices that continue to waste energy by needlessly leaving on equipment all through the night.
How much energy is actually being used at night in office space, is hard to determine. However much is being used unnecessarily would be reflected in a power bill that a company occupying office space has to pay quarterly. If they decided to consciously turn all equipment, such as computers, printers and unnecessary lighting off for a period of three months and then compare the usage of the previous quarter when such awareness had not been applied, it is obvious that the difference may turn out to be quite substantial.
It is all a question of educating staff to be more conscious of the energy they are using during office hours and how much energy can be saved by turning things off when they leave in the afternoons. Not only does this achieve substantial savings for the company but it also means that it is an eco-friendly business.
What can we do?
It has been estimated that between ten and twenty per cent can be saved on energy by simply changing office workers behavioural patterns. It is all pretty common sense stuff which everyone applies to their own homes. The simple fact is that when people aren’t paying the bill, they tend to be less aware of it.
Re-educating staff to be more energy aware does not mean creating a stressful environment for them to work in. If workers are shown the positive side of approaching how they use and turn off any office equipment that is not needed, then they will be happy to go along with a new strategy without any reluctance.
Apart from getting staff involved in the energy saving venture, there are many other things that can be changed in office spaces which will render them more energy efficient. This includes the use energy efficient light bulbs instead of the incandescent ones which in the past have been so popular in offices. This alone could mean up to 38% less in energy used which adds up to a huge annual saving.
Motion detectors are another great energy saving idea and restrooms should have fans which are synchronised to the lighting system. Natural light should be taken advantage of as much as possible from skylights and windows. Heating systems should be set to turn on and off at intervals and run constantly throughout a twenty four period.
New office blocks are well insulated so heat loss in not a problem, it is quite the opposite and often when it gets too warm in the office, people will open a window rather than turn the temperature down on the thermostat. Re-educating staff will take a little time, but in the long run everyone will realize the benefits of running an energy efficient office which does not use unnecessary power when there is no one there at night.
In the long term, the ultimate position to be in would be to create a society where centralized working doesn’t exist. In this world, offices would no longer be a drain on energy, but they could be converted to generate energy by innovation and technology.
Do you think a world without office space could exist?