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Smart Energy-Saving Ideas for Your Office

Key Points
  • Office equipment costs U.S. businesses nearly $2 billion a year in energy costs.
  • You can save money through a combination of operational improvements and low-cost upgrades.
  • ENERGY STAR rated office equipment is more energy efficient than conventional products.

Women in officeDid you know that office equipment is the fastest growing energy user in commercial buildings, costing U.S. businesses nearly $2 billion a year? In all, computers and office equipment make up about 15 percent of total electricity use in office buildings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Sadly, much of that energy use is wasted. You can save energy and money through a combination of low-cost upgrades and operational improvements.

  • Turn off equipment when not in use. This is the simplest and most cost-effective way to reduce energy waste. 
  • Turn off screen savers. Contrary to popular belief, screen savers waste energy by keeping computers active.
  • Switch to laptops. When upgrading computers, consider purchasing laptop models. Today's laptops can perform most office-related tasks while using significantly less energy.
  • Use power-management settings. Many computers, printers and copiers are left on all day but see little use. You can save a significant amount of energy by using power-management settings. On average, a desktop computer uses 95 percent less energy in sleep mode.
  • Share printers. Printers use a surprising amount of energy, especially when there is one in every office. Network printers so multiple employees can share them. This will save on operating costs and reduce paper waste.
  • Unplug chargers. Battery chargers for laptops, phones and other equipment continue to draw power when they are not in use.
  • Plug smart. Printers, copiers, and other office equipment continue to draw power when they are not being used. Advanced power strips use timers or sensors to shut off equipment when it's not needed. 

Give your office ENERGY STAR quality  

When you purchase new computers and office equipment, make sure it is ENERGY STAR rated for energy-efficient performance. Computers and displays meeting ENERGY STAR standards use 20 to 50 percent less energy, depending on how they are used. ENERGY STAR imaging equipment is, on average, 30 percent more efficient than standard models. 


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