We have had an independent energy review and have been slashing our energy usage.

One gadget we've found useful is an Energy Monitor that wirelessly monitors our total usage at any given point.  This sits on a desk and gives at-a-glance info on current consumption, in watts.

Another is a single-socket energy monitor to get accurate readings on what wattage various bits of office paraphernalia use.

The biggest improvement we've made was to replace all our 20W halogen downlighters for 4W LED ones.  The new LED bulbs last much longer, plug into the same GU10 socket without a transformer and even kick out more light.  We prefer the colour too, which is a "warm yellow" as opposed to the "very yellow" halogens.

It would be nice if all companies would try and cut their energy usage on idealogical grounds, but that is unrealistic.  What can't be argued with though are the economic benefits: so far we've reduced our weekly electricity bill by half and there should be room for further savings.

It's easy for phrases such as "cutting our carbon footprint" and "being eco-friendly" to become clichés, especially in the workplace, but once management see costs going down it should be easier to implement other "green" policies, which will eventually have knock-on benefits. For example, if there is a shift towards buying low-energy computers this will encourage hardware manufacturers to focus more on this area of their product.

Written by Celerity Design, on March 14, 2011
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