Energy tips for your office
Encourage employees to turn off all office equipment after office hours and for weekends.
Turning equipment off at the power point will reduce electricity usage to zero and, as a bonus, equipment is likely to last longer.
Conduct regular maintenance on all office equipment to keep them running efficiently.
Have computers set to go to sleep automatically after 30 minutes of inactivity. If you do not have this functionality, turn off your monitor when you’re going to be away for your desk for a long period of time, such as lunch breaks. And don't be fooled by screen savers– most of them keep monitors running at full power.
Between 40-89 per cent of energy use from computer equipment can be attributed to the standby modes of some machines.
Laptops typically consume less than half the energy of a desktop computer.
Upgrade computer monitors to LCD as they have a greater efficiency than older tube monitors.
The smaller the monitor screen, the greater the energy efficiency.
Photocopiers use more energy each time you start, so run all your print jobs at once. Also, remember colour printers use more energy than black and white printers.
Air Conditioning and Heating
Ensure you are using the right size system for the area you are cooling/heating. Avoid overworking and oversizing as this will result in unnecessary energy costs.
Encourage employees to close doors and windows and draw blinds to avoid your system overworking and minimise energy wastage.
Switch off heating/cooling when the office is empty.
All systems should be serviced on a regular basis to maximise efficiency. Filters should also be replaced monthly in peak seasons, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Insulate windows, walls, pipes and boilers.
Position thermostats away from sunlight, draughts or machinery that emits heat.
Encourage employees to turn off all lights, including show room and signs, after business hours.
To reduce energy waste, install motion sensor lights in areas not regularly used, such as store rooms and bathrooms.
Remove tubes from fluorescent fittings if there is more light than needed.
Replace light fittings with low energy bulbs, particularly in areas where the lights are on for long periods.
Clean light fittings regularly to ensure they are used to the optimum.
Check the thermostat on your hot water system is set at a temperature that is appropriate for its use. Many systems are set at an unnecessarily high temperature. Set your hot water supply to 60 degrees where appropriate
If your business does not rely on hot water, turn the system off. Even turning the system off over non-trading periods or holidays can make a difference.
When cooking, do not overfill pots with water. Use the minimum quantity of water needed and keep the lid on.
Depending on use, cooking equipment should be serviced twice a year to ensure it is always working at peak efficiency. Also, regularly checking seals and hinges will alert you if equipment needs repair to ensure maximum efficiency.
Keep dishwasher and dryer filters clean.
Like any other mechanical equipment, newer refrigerators are more energy efficient. By trading in old for new, you could save on energy costs.
Performing regular maintenance checks can increase your refrigerator’s lifespan and replacing cracked door seals will prevent cold air from leaking out.
Frost build-up should be no more than 6mm. Keep freezers as full as possible to reduce icing.
Ensure the refrigerator/freezer is placed in a location away from heat and positioned for optimal airflow.
Keep condenser coils clean and free of dust build up for better efficiency.
If closing your business for a holiday period, empty and turn off the fridge, leaving the door open.
Energy tips for your home
Heating and Air Conditioning
Regularly clean or replace heater and air-conditioner filters and have your system serviced as recommended by the manufacture to maximise efficiency.
In cooler months, closing curtains will help keep the heat inside rather than it escaping through windows.
Electric hot water systems should be set between 55°C and 60°C. Many systems are set at an unnecessarily high temperature.
Choose a water system of the right size to service your hot water consumption. Large systems use more energy to heat unused water.
Insulate hot water pipes to reduce heat loss and keep your system operating efficiently.
Regularly service your hot water system.
If going away for extended periods, turn off your hot water system at the power point.
If possible, have your pool connected to an off-peak meter rather than your general-use meter. This will reduce peak demand and using your filter on off-peak periods will also save you money.
Use a cover or pool blanket on pools and spas.
Keep pool heaters to 27°C.
Always wash full loads in both dishwashers and washing machines and try to use the fastest cycle. This will save water and energy.
Most household appliances have energy star ratings, so when updating, look for the most energy efficient.
Switch appliances off at the wall rather than using stand by.
Keep filters clean on dishwashers, rangehoods and clothes dryers.
Smaller appliances like kettles, coffee machines, crockpots and toasters are more efficient than using the stove.