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It’s a little too easy to mindlessly consume energy. It’s just the flick of a switch and the cost is only levied after the fact. But there is a cost, after all.
And it’s not only the financial cost. There is more social and political pressure on businesses than ever to curb their energy consumption and become more sustainable.
This energy mandate– the financial, social, and political costs of energy use – inspired UKBF’s managing editor Chris Goodfellow to ask: what practical steps you've taken to save money and help the environment?
FreebieBoy34 opened the thread with a simple suggestion: “Since I'm mostly just sitting in front of the PC what I do to save energy is to turn off the air conditioner once I feel that the room is cooled. I also make it a point not turn on all the lights, just the ones that I'm using at the moment.”
Although these changes may seem minute, they do add up. They also allow businesses in serviced offices to ameliorate runaway energy use. UKBF user Ashley Price has taken some similar common sense steps: “I switch the PCs off at night (not just the screens). I don’t leave screens on when I don’t need them. The printers are switched off when not in use (sometimes it can be days before they are needed the next time).
“I also don't put the lights on unless I actually need them for reading/seeing - not just because the room is a bit dull. When in the communal parts of the building, I switched off lights in less-used corridors (one corridor is empty for about 90% of the day, but the light is left on, if I don't turn it off).”
But, as another member pointed out, parsimonious energy use needs to ingrained into a business’s DNA to be truly effective. “As mentioned above, the physical act of ‘turning off’ energy consuming assets when not needed is the start,” wrote PSL. “But ensuring that everyone in the business follows the same principles, is a must.
“The most effective manner in which to start to become energy efficient is to ensure everyone in the business, from the owner to the tea maker, takes proactive steps to turn energy consuming assets off, when they are not in use.”
Expanding his point, PSL also offered some nitty-gritty insights on energy consumption. “All business from the small to the large can, invest in, and have installed, technology that can save them money and reduce CO2 emissions,” he wrote.
“There are a number of cost effective and innovative products on the market from additives for wet heating systems that can save up to 15%, nano technologies that coat the exterior walls to enhance airtightness, solar thermal kit for hot water, solar thermal kit to reduce energy consumed by AC/HVAC units, additives for chillers that reduce consumption... the list goes on.”
As PSL noted, the list is endless for a business looking to cut costs and emissions. “I have installed a 200 kWh wind turbine which has so far produced 750 mWh of electricity,” wrote RoydMoorian. Another user, Jeremy Hawke, is “looking at an electric hatchback for local runs in-and-around Exeter”.
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