Are you finding your company's utility bills creeping steadily upwards? When electricity rates rise, even moderate energy usage can become expensive for a business. Compounding the problem, not many employees think about their company's energy usage -- and many of them may think of the office's energy supply as "free electricity." Though you can't ban them from bringing their phone chargers to the office (at least, not without a lot of complaints), you can institute some energy-friendly policies.
1. Install "Sleep Mode" on Computers and Equipment
When not being used, computers and equipment (such as copying machines) may still be on and therefore drawing power. You can install a sleep mode on these devices so that they "rest" while they aren't being used. In this rest state, the equipment will immediately "wake up" when it is needed but will otherwise turn off most of its functions. Sleep mode does still take more energy than simply being off, though, which is why...
2. Turn Off Computers and Equipment at the End of the Night
Many individuals don't turn off their computers when leaving the office. It's easy to see why -- if the computer sleeps automatically, they might think it's already off or that it's not using power. It's best, though, to turn off all devices completely. The computer and equipment will still be waiting to be woken up. Turning off a computer and turning it back on will also alleviate some potential system problems related to keeping the computer running all the time.
3. Encourage Seasonal Adjustments
During the hot summer months, you may want to furnish fans for employees rather than having them rely upon more expensive central air conditioning. Likewise, when it's the dead of winter, you may want to encourage the employees to dress warmly rather than blasting the heater.
4. Lighting Education for CFL and Commercial Lighting
Many individuals are used to turning off the lights when they aren't in use. In fact, fluorescent lighting rods and compact fluorescent lights often expend more energy when turning on than they do when they're actually being utilized. Unless a room will be out of use for longer than an hour, it's usually better to leave the lights on. In areas with unpredictable traffic, it's better to maintain a "lights on" policy until the end of the day.
An energy conscious policy isn't just about saving money -- it's also about preserving the environment. By stressing the importance of conserving energy to your employees (rather than simply discussing the costs) you're far more likely to get them on board. Consider the adoption of other environmentally-friendly policies, such as recycling.