BE PRODUCTIVE WHILE CUTTING WASTE
Office equipment represents the fastest growing source of electricity consumption in commercial buildings, accounting for 7% of commercial energy consumption. Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities for reducing the energy costs associated with office equipment. These include making wise purchasing choices, reducing waste by turning off equipment when not in use and using existing equipment more efficiently. By making a priority of eliminating wasted energy from office equipment, your business can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in energy costs per year without any negative impact on the productivity or comfort of employees. Inefficient office equipment not only wastes energy, but also generates heat that adds additional cooling load to your building, which costs you even more money. The answers to the questions below discuss tips for reducing energy consumption from general office equipment and miscellaneous appliances. Separate energy saving guides are available for more information on commercial food service equipment and refrigeration.
Office Equipment and Appliances FAQ
- Where can I find information on energy-efficient office equipment?
- Do you have any sample language that I can use for establishing a procurement policy that encourages purchasing of energy-efficient equipment?
- What simple steps can I take to reduce energy use by my office equipment?
- Any tips for reducing energy use by the appliances in my office kitchen?
- Are there any incentives or rebates available to reduce the cost of purchasing energy-efficient office equipment or appliances?
- ENERGY STAR® office equipment can save up to 90% of the energy use of standard models. Research the latest list of energy-efficient computers, electronics, fans and appliances on the ENERGY STAR® products website prior to making a new purchase.
- Note that laptop computers can consume up to 90% less energy than desktops.
- The ENERGY STAR® purchasing and procurement website has generic procurement language that can be used:
- For products not covered by ENERGY STAR®, consider using model language developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program:
- Definition. As used in this clause—
- Means a product that—
- Meets Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency criteria for use of the Energy Star® trademark label; or
- Is in the upper 25 percent of efficiency for all similar products as designated by the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program.
- The term “product” does not include any energy-consuming product or system designed or procured for combat or combat-related missions (42 U.S.C. 8259b).
- Acquired by the Contractor for use in performing services at a Federally-controlled facility;
- Furnished by the Contractor for use by the Government; or
- Specified in the design of a building or work, or incorporated during its construction, renovation, or maintenance.
- The requirements of paragraph (b) apply to the Contractor (including any subcontractor) unless—
- The energy-consuming product is not listed in the ENERGY STAR® Program or FEMP; or
- Otherwise approved in writing by the Contracting Officer.
- Information about these products is available for—
The Contractor shall ensure that energy-consuming products are energy efficient products (i.e., ENERGY STAR® products or FEMP-designated products) at the time of contract award, for products that are—
- Means a product that—
- Definition. As used in this clause—
The Vendor Must: Provide products that earn the ENERGY STAR® and meet the ENERGY STAR® specifications for energy efficiency. The vendor is encouraged to visit energystar.gov for complete product specifications and updated lists of qualifying products.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN ENERGY-CONSUMING PRODUCTS (DEC 2007)
- Ensure that power management settings that are available on equipment, particulary computers and monitors, are used by:
- Instructing employees to enable power management features on computers and encouraging them to turn computers completely off at night; or
- Tasking your IT department to centrally control power-management settings; or
- Installing third-party software packages to manage computer and monitor power.
- Unplug your laptop adaptor when not needed for powering or charging your computer as it will continuously draw power even if not connected to the laptop.
- Turn office equipment completely off at night and before leaving for the weekend. Equipment in standby or sleep mode still draws power.
- Educate employees to turn off or unplug personal energy-consuming devices such as coffee pots, personal heaters, audio equipment and computer peripherals when not in use.
- Insist on vendors installing vending machines that are ENERGY STAR® qualified and have software that reduces lighting levels and refrigeration energy use during periods of inactivity. Even if you do not own the machines, your business is likely responsible for paying for the electricity consumed by the vending machines and for mitigating the additional cooling loads they generate.
- Install a high-efficiency commercial washing machine that can save up to 50% of energy use and up to 30% of water use compared to a standard model.
- Keep the exhaust and lint traps for dryers clean to increase efficiency. Use the moisture-sensing settings and run full loads for additional savings.
- Maintain an air gap of at least three inches between the back of the unit and the wall for refrigerators, water coolers and freezers to improve efficiency.
- Clean condenser coils on the back of the appliances regularly to improve heat transfer.
- Shut a dollar bill in the door of your refrigerator or freezer. If you can pull it out easily, the gasket needs to be replaced.
- Only run full dishwasher loads to conserve energy and water. Use timers to reduce the use of coffee maker heating elements throughout the day or better yet, purchase a thermos coffee dispenser.
There may be incentives or rebates available in your area. Visit the Energy Action Planner to learn more.