Are there any good ways that we can keep our operational costs down in our new office? Our energy bills are looking quite scary.
While the much debated carbon tax won’t have an immediate impact on our electricity bills, this will be scant comfort for small business owners already paying through the nose on their energy bills.
Smart office managers tend to keep one eye on the bottom line and one eye on environmental performance, so reducing energy use is clearly a win/win proposition.
As any environmental consultant will tell you, the first step is to look at the low-hanging fruit – and that generally equates to lighting and heating/air-conditioning for most office environments.
There are a few simple steps you can take to bring down the costs in this area. Lighting is often the easiest one to take on: maximise the effects of daylight by moving desks nearer to windows, paint your walls in lighter tones, and use reflective surfaces.
Switch all your lighting to energy efficient light bulbs, and use desktop lighting where possible.
Heating and air-conditioning can be trickier and involve more investment, so if cost is your main concern you may want to consider the sources of heat during the hot summer months.
Small things like the placement of your printer (keep it away from your air-con sensors) can have a big effect.
The biggest difference you make, however, is also the most challenging: changing people’s habits.
Make sure all computer equipment is turned off when not used, and not just at the end of the day.
When people go to lunch, or for meetings outside of the office – ask them to switch everything off at the source.
Moving forward, next time you buy equipment or move to a new location, take a good look at the energy or building rating.
We recently opened our own space at one of Australia’s top rated green buildings, Sydney’s Coca Cola Place, and have been extremely happy when receiving our energy bills.
There are plenty of portals and websites to help you, check out http://www.energystar.gov.au/partners/greenbrochure.html, and http://www.cityswitch.net.au for more information on how to go green and save big on your office operation costs.