Office Energy Checklist

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This checklist outlines actions that conserve energy at the 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 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.