If you are at college or work for a company there are a number of simple steps that you could take to help make a greater difference in reducing our impact on the environment and being energy efficient.
1. Identify staff members who are responsible for procurement or are part of the administration.
2. Receive a buy in from them on the need to reduce consumption of electricity at work or your school/college.
3. Consider the four areas below. If implemented you could save on a lot of electricity.
You could create an environment club at your school or college and appoint ‘energy champions’ to take responsibility for energy management.
Work with members of staff at your office, school or college and carry out an energy survey. Go around your office or floor of the building to identify: wasteful energy use practices; opportunities for savings; and maintenance issues that need addressing.
Measure it, and then manage it! Measure and monitor how much energy you are using (from electricity bills) - you should be able to build a picture of your monthly performance. You can also monitor any changes that occur when you introduce energy savings measures.
Raise awareness amongst students or staff members of the financial and environmental implications of energy use through awareness campaigns. Use emails or the intranet and staff meetings to remind people of ‘switch off’ policies and to encourage their involvement in saving energy.
Use air conditioning only when the temperature is above 26°C.
Make sure that air conditioning systems are switched off or reduced outside working hours. Turn off air conditioning in unoccupied rooms.
Use timers and thermostats to control output and ensure they are set correctly.
Make sure windows and doors are closed when the air conditioning is on.
Ensure that lights and other equipment are switched off when rooms are not in use.
Ask your cleaning staff, security guards or appointed person to ensure all lights are switched off once your school, college or office has emptied for the day.
Replace standard bulbs with low-energy bulbs for your school, college or office. They can save the additional costs many times over in their lifetime. Fluorescent tubes use less than 20% of the energy used by standard light bulbs.
Consider installing automated lighting systems (controlled by movement sensors) to ensure that lighting is only on when necessary.
Install localized light switches to enable staff and students to switch lighting on/off as required.
Make the most of natural light by keeping windows clean and free of obstructions.
Run a ‘switch-off’ campaign in your office. Place switch off stickers above light switches.
Switch it off after hours! A computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day will cost around RO 30 a year. Switching them off out of hours could reduce this to less than RO 12 a year and prolong the lifespan of the equipment.
Switch off your PC monitor when away from your desk for more than 10 minutes (e.g. during meetings, lunchtime, etc.). Even when left in ‘stand-by’ mode computer monitors use electricity. Although most monitors nowadays use a small amount of energy, if we all switched them off on a regular basis it adds up to a considerable energy and cost saving!
Run a ‘switch-off’ campaign in your office. Design posters, stickers and desktop wallpapers as reminders for staff to switch off computers and monitors.
Ensure all users switch off all office equipment when not in use. A photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy to make over 5,000 copies, a computer monitor left on overnight uses enough energy to laser print 800 copies.
Use the most appropriate printer for the task. For internal printing, use a black and white printer. Set default printing to double sided and try to print in batches where possible to allow the machine to spend more time in standby than idling mode.
Unplug mobile phone chargers, which drain energy if left plugged in and switched off.