Talk of energy saving often has people thinking they need to turn their thermostat down a degree or two and endure colder living or working conditions. Or, in summers like this one, turn the temperature on their office air con system up a few degrees and endure the heat.
In working environments, this may deliver a saving but at the cost of your employees’ comfort and productivity. This could potentially mean no saving at all… or maybe even a loss!
Some smarter thinking can deliver savings upsides without inadvertent downsides. The following ideas require the investment of anything from a little time and effort, through to capital expenditure your business is likely to have accounted for in any case.
Switch to switchless
If you’ve not done so already, make the simple upgrade from manually operated lighting in the likes of toilets, rest rooms and office kitchens to automatic operation. Those of us who were around during the energy crisis and power cuts the 1970s will remember stickers next to switches in such places reminding us to ‘Switch it off’ or ‘Save it’.
But automatic movement-operated lighting performs the function that people frequently forget, and saves you the cost of lighting spaces that are unoccupied most of the time.
An interesting psychological aside to the use of automatic lighting is the positive impression it creates. It sends a subtle message that your business is both one that cares about energy efficiency, and one that embraces modern thinking. In other words, switching to switchless performs a marketing task as well as a cost-saving one!
Re-imagine your space
Hybrid ways of working that have pretty much become the norm for many businesses since the pandemic have led to lower occupancy levels in offices. The challenge here is that an office populated by 20 people requires the same amount of heating and lighting as when fully occupied by 40.
Re-thinking the use of space could help address this.
If you have two partially occupied offices, consider combining them. In doing so, be sure to consider what natural heating and lighting they benefit from (or suffer!). Why pay to cool an office space that is getting hot on the south side of your building, when people could work in the cooler north-facing office across the corridor? The flip of this is the case in winter, where that south-facing office becomes the better from both a heating and lighting perspective.
If you’ve just the one office, let us help you shape a better use the space. For example, this could involve sectioning areas off as breakout or meeting spaces that are only heated and lit as and when needed.
With space-planning, office design and M&E expertise all in house, we are especially well placed to both imagine and implement the changes that will benefit your business.
Make inevitable investments sooner
You may have already read seen our recent case study involving the end-of-life replacement of a cooling system for a UK mobile provider. The new system uses far less energy than its predecessor, meaning these savings are especially valuable given the currently sky-rocketing cost of energy.
Cooling, heating and lighting systems all have a lifespan. So run the numbers and see whether it makes sense to bring forward the investment in the replacement of that ageing air con system. We can help you make informed decisions about such things by providing details of the latest systems and the savings they are likely to deliver.
Depending on the age and spec of your current set up, you may well be surprised by the low running costs of efficient new cooling or lighting systems – and therefore the comparatively short payback time.