A wise man once said: behaving more sustainably will feel amazing! It was actually said yesterday, by behavioral scientist Reint Jan Renes. The point is: making climate conscious decisions makes us happy. Today, we’ll talk about making such sustainable decisions in the (home) office. Besides making us happy, this also saves money.
This is volume three in our ‘Beat the bill’-series. Earlier, we wrote about the importance of understanding one’s energy bill, and about saving energy in the logistics real estate sector. In this article, we’ll help you save energy in the office.
hello energy helps all stakeholders of a building engage with sustainability. Therefore, this article provides hands-on tips on how to decrease energy use: tips for building users, tenants and landlords or asset managers.
Let’s start with a breakdown of average office energy use, so you understand what to focus on.
Building users (or employees)
As a building user, you probably don’t reap the monetary benefits from saving energy (directly). But do you reap the benefits of a green and sustainable future, and from the happiness you feel when behaving sustainably. And helping your company is always good.
Besides, the changes we are proposing below, are so low-effort, that it just makes sense to implement them. Let’s go:
- Check your laptop’s settings. Lower the amount of time after which it will dim, sleep, and hibernate. Both when using battery power and when plugged in. Reduce screen brightness and switch on power saving mode when this option is available.
- Plug out your devices before you leave the office. All of them. Or ask your boss provide a socket block with an on-and-off switch.
- Warm your body rather than the space and see how low you can turn the temperature. Lower than 19 degrees Celsius should be possible, right? The fresher the room is, the better you can focus on your work, so there’s a double win.
Fun fact: Did you know that turning the thermostat down with just 1 degree Celsius saves around 8% in heating costs?
For you, it makes most sense to save energy, because you’ll probably feel it in your pockets. Here is what you can do:
- Help the building users (likely your employees) reduce energy use by making it fun. Organize a weekly or monthly contest: if the company manages to reduce energy use by a certain amount or percentages, everyone gets the first few drinks on the house during the next TGIF-drinks. hello energy helps with this, as everyone can see the company’s performance every day through the content we send to your screen in the lobby.
- Perform an energy audit. Deep dive into your energy bill – or login to your hello energy portal – to see how you’re doing and compare these figures to sector averages. This helps you identify areas for improvement.
- Check for heat leaks using a temperature gun for example. Get in contact with your landlord on how to fix them together. Perhaps drought excluders or draft guards – or however you may call them – can already solve the issue.
- Check whether you can apply for subsidies on energy saving or green energy generation green energy producing solutions.
Landlord or asset manager
You are the stakeholder with the most power to act. You can truly make a change for a happy, healthy world. You could for example take the following actions:
- Implement a smart Building Management System (BMS), so heating is optimized throughout the day and week.
- Install window blinds to reduce the need for cooling in summer and trap heat in winter.
- Large office spaces often have one switch for the entire room. Consider installing switches for every section or corner of the space, so that only the occupied places are lit rather than the entire thing.
Chances are that you experience split incentives between building users, tenants, landlords and asset managers, when it comes to energy saving. The one making the investment is not always the one receiving the returns.
In order to better align incentives between stakeholders, you can look into green leases together, so the one making the investment can also gain from it. Also, engage in energy management together, for example by using the insights hello energy provides into your building’s energy use.
Let’s beat the bill together!