By switching off equipment when it is not in use, we save energy and money. It is that simple.
Just as we don’t leave our cars idling when not in use, the idea that office equipment and appliances should be idling away on standby in case we need them is a recipe for power wastage and high electricity bills. It is estimated that the power used by office machines in standby mode is 6% of office energy use.
By acting to switch off your un-used appliances, you can reclaim this money and put it to a far better use.
How to do it now!
With many appliances using “standby” power, they are often left on overnight or over the weekend, when they continue to consume power with no benefit to the business. The following tips will help avoid this:
Enable power save mode for appliances used intermittently. Most computers, monitors, photocopiers, faxes, televisions and sound systems , etc… have a “power save” mode, this mode should be activated so the device switches to power save when not active. That said, some devices are better switched off when not is use, and remember to switch all equipment off (at the power point) at the end of the day.
Switch off (at the power point) appliances with standby mode when they're not in use. Where possible group a computer and any peripheral devices (printer, speakers, Copier, etc…) on a single power-board, which can be conveniently switched off at the end of the day. For those computers and devices that are rarely used (i.e. a couple of times a day) a switch that turns off all the peripheral devices when the computer is in sleep or standby mode can also be used.
Install 24-hour timers on hot water urns. Hot water urns and hot water systems, promotional screens, electrical street signage and other intermittently required devices can all be put on timer switches programmed to switch these appliances off when they are not required. Timer switches can be purchased from electrical shops or hardware stores.
Install "eco-power" controllers. There is an increasing array of “eco-power" saving devices available, from those that make it easy to switch off a collection of devices on standby, through to switches that can detect "sleep mode" on your computer and switch off the peripheral devices. Try to update yourself about these switches and apply them to the power using devices and situations in your workplace.
Why is this action important?
Improving the energy efficiency in the workplace is an incremental step by step process. By learning to switch off appliances that would otherwise consume power in standby mode, you are taking an important step that will have an immediate impact on energy use and the associated costs, both financial and environmental.