At work, people are often careless with energy wastage in ways they would never indulge in at home. Computers are left on overnight, equipment settings don't get adjusted to save power, people forget to turn of lights when they leave the room, and the result is tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

But with a little fine-tuning to our day to day work schedule we can drop our energy use by about one third.

Here’s how it’s done!

  1. Turn of your computer at the end of each day
    You stop approximately 500kg of CO2 being emitted per annum by switching off your PC when you go home. You could also try turning off the computer any time you are away from your desk for 15 minutes or more.
  1. Manage your computer settings
    Almost all computers have power management controls. In Windows this is found in the Display Properties / Screen saver tab (right click on Desktop brings up Display Properties). Adjust the settings to activate the following:
  • Turn off monitor after 15 minutes with no movement
  • Go to system standby and switch off the hard drive after 30 minutes
  • Hibernate mode after 2 hours

Also turn off the screen savers because they generally take more energy than they save.

  1. Make sure all appliances and office equipment are using power saving modes
    Check that the computers, fax machines, copiers and printers are energy efficient certified with energy saving features like ‘power down’ modes
  1. Turn off equipment and lights when you have finished using them.
    Just one fluorescent tube discharges one kilogram of greenhouse gas every 15 hours. Even if they are on a sensor system; switch off unneeded lights or equipment as you would do when at home. 
  1. Use natural light when possible
    Position your work spaces and office to catch the most possible use of natural light so it is possible to keep the lights off while you work. The lighting in an office can add up to 20 per cent of the energy used.
  1. Dress to suit the season
    You can turn your heating down a couple of degrees (perhaps to 20° Celsius) and save a lot of energy by wearing a jumper in the winter months.
  1. When possible use cold water
    When you rinse out your coffee cup try using cold water instead of hot. This will save the hot water system heating up.
  1. Turn off the power each night
    Power boards with a remote control off and on switch are now available at most hardware stores, allowing you to turn off the stand-by power systems without climbing either on, over or under your desk to do so

Ideas to further reduce energy usage in your work place:

  • Have an energy audit conducted
    An energy audit can help save the planet and will almost certainly save you money as well.
  • Invest in green power
    Maybe you can use the savings from the above steps to shift to Renewable energy.
  • Be carbon neutral
    Create a long term goal of becoming a carbon neutral organisation. Perhaps consult with reduction and offset experts or have an energy audit.