We’ve put together a few tips to help you save on energy costs in your workplace and at home this winter, while reducing your carbon emissions at the same time.
In the workplace:
Replace traditional bulbs with LED bulbs to reduce lighting bills by 60-80%.
Install light sensors in areas that are not in constant use, such as toilets and corridors. Sensors on outside building lights can also make a big difference.
In areas where sensors aren’t practical, like meeting rooms or offices, get staff involved by asking them to turn off lights whenever they’re not in use, even for 10 minutes. Friendly reminders by light fittings can help. We recently saw one that said: ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way. Please turn off the light when you leave.’
Why heat a room that isn’t in use? If your building is heated via radiators, ensure you have TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves). These are the valves on the side of your radiator numbered 1 to 5. They allow you to turn down the heat on the radiators when the room isn’t in use.
Dropping the heating by even a couple degrees can make a big difference to the bills. Again, staff can help by turning radiators valves down, or reducing the thermostat to 15 degrees, when they leave for the day.
If you have wooden windows or single glazing, draught excluders are a great and inexpensive option to stop the heat escaping through gaps.
Where practical, keep internal doors closed. It’s quicker and more efficient to warm up a room if you’re not trying to heat the adjoining corridor as well.
Make sure computers are set to go onto standby or low power mode when they haven’t been used for a period of time, say 5 minutes. This means they’re not consuming lots of energy when staff are at lunch or in meetings.
Encourage staff not to leave devices like phones plugged in all day, rather, only when they need to be charged.
Appliances that are on stand by still use energy. Encourage staff to switch electrical devices off completely off at the end of day. This may mean switching them off at the wall.
Many of the tips above apply to homes as well as offices. Here are a few additional things you can do at home to save energy.
A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Loft insultation is a simple and effective way to prevent heat escaping and reduce your energy bills.
If your house has a hot water tank (rather than a combi boiler), make sure it is insulated to keep the water hot for longer. DIY stores sell hot water tank jackets and insulation which are easy to fit. You can also buy easy-to-install insulation tubes for hot water pipes (also known as pipe lagging).
In addition to draft excluders, thick curtains will help to keep the heat in. Look for thermal curtains to make your rooms extra cozy.
Finally, this one is obvious but worth a reminder. Avoid waste: only boil the water you need rather than filling up the whole kettle, run the dishwasher only when it’s full, turn off taps when you’re not using the water. Every little helps!