Practical Tips for Energy Awareness Month

This month is Energy Awareness Month! Here are some practical suggestions from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy on how you can reduce your energy usage in your office:

Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for desk lamps and overhead lighting. Using CFLs instead of comparable incandescent bulbs can save about 50% on your lighting costs. CFLs use only one-fourth the energy and last up to 10 times longer.
Switch off all unnecessary lights. Use dimmers, motion sensors, or occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting when not in use to reduce energy use and costs.
Turn off lights when you leave at night.
Use natural lighting or daylighting. When feasible, turn off lights near windows
Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it, to directly illuminate work areas.
Use ENERGY STAR® products.
Close or adjust window blinds to block direct sunlight to reduce cooling needs during warm months. Overhangs or exterior window covers are most effective to block sunlight on south-facing windows.
In the winter months, open blinds on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your workspace. At night, close the blinds to reduce heat loss.
Unplug equipment that drains energy when not in use (i.e. cell phone chargers, fans, coffeemakers, desktop printers, radios, etc.).
Replace desktop computers with thin clients or notebook computers and docking stations.
Replace cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors with LED or liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors.
Turn off your computer and monitors at the end of the work day, if possible. If you leave your desk for an extended time, turn off your monitor. (See IT & Electronics.)
Turn off photocopier at night or purchase a new copier with low standby feature. Purchase printers and fax machines with power management feature and use it. (See IT & Electronics.)
Coordinate with vending machine vendor to turn off advertising lights.
Have a qualified professional perform an energy audit. Check with your utility company for names of auditors.
Install programmable thermostats Check furnace ducts for disconnects or leaks.
Ensure HVAC ductwork is well insulated.
Ensure adjustable speed drives are operating properly.
Insulate water heater, hot water piping and tanks to reduce heat loss.
Install low-flow toilets, urinals, faucets and shower heads.
Verify the energy management system (EMS) switches into setback mode during unoccupied hours. Also, time clocks and computer controls may need adjustments after power outages or seasonal time changes.
Install meters to track energy use.
Save paper. Photocopy only what you need. Always use the second side of paper, either by printing on both sides or using the blank side as scrap paper.
Collect your utility bills. Separate electricity and fuel bills. Target the largest energy consumer or the largest bill for energy conservation measures.
Carpool, bike, or use mass transit when commuting to work.
To save gas, drive the speed limit, accelerate and decelerate slower, remove excess/unneeded weight, reduce unnecessary idling and miles traveled, and make sure tires are pumped up.
Consider alternative work schedules and telecommuting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from employee commuting.
Reduce business travel by increasing phone, video, and Web conferencing and training capabilities.
Use coffee mugs instead of disposable cups.

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