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Copiers. Printers. Fax machines. Computers. The average office is full of devices that rely on electrical power to operate. Some of those devices are particularly greedy when it comes to the amount of energy they consume.

Identifying the biggest energy hogs may help you make key changes to cut down your carbon footprint and slice your energy bills down to size. In this guide, we’ll list a few of the prime culprits for energy-hogging in the office.

As you might have expected, computers top our list of office energy hogs. They’re absolutely essential for most modern-day office work. But these devices use lots of power and are usually plugged in and switched on for many, many hours of the day.
One way to minimize your computers’ energy consumption is to switch to laptops over desktops. Laptops run on batteries, so don’t need to be plugged in non-stop. Alternatively, use power-saving or eco modes to use less energy.

This one might come as a surprise. After all, lights are much smaller and simpler than copiers and computers. But, with many offices still using inefficient incandescent bulbs, lights are serious energy hogs.

To address this issue, consider switching to LED or CFL lights, which use way less energy than outdated bulbs of the past. Remember to turn off lights when they’re not needed, too.

Copiers and Printers
Most offices also need copiers and printers, even as they strive to go “paperless” and use fewer physical documents. These devices are often left idle, but they are switched on all day (or even overnight), consuming tons of energy in the process.

To fix this, use timers to turn copiers off when they’re not in use, or placed in active eco modes, if available. Upgrade to Energy Star-certified devices, too, and opt for multifunctional, all-in-one devices rather than lots of separate ones.

Key Takeaways:

  • To save energy, lights should be on only when necessary, and less efficient incandescent bulbs should be replaced with more efficient alternatives.
  • A unified copy room containing the right amount of printing equipment is more energy efficient than having a greater number of printers spread out within an office.
  • Appliances in break rooms should be smaller in size, more energy efficient, and switched on and off by timers.

“Ask employees to completely power down their work stations at the end of the day. To make this easy, provide each employee with a power strip to plug their computers, speakers, desk lamps, paper shredders and other electronics into. Then powering down is as simple as flipping the switch on the power strip.”

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