Broadly speaking, energy efficiency refers to efforts made to reduce energy consumption. In the context of the workplace, this may include increasing awareness of what consumes energy, changing behavior and turning off equipment or systems when not in use, and upgrading to more efficient equipment.
In a typical commercial office building, HVAC (50%), lighting (25%), and computer equipment (10-15%) consume the overwhelming majority of energy. Energy efficient buildings — often denoted by the LEED or Energy Star designations — consume 26% less energy and have 13% lower maintenance costs. On average, utility costs for commercial office buildings are $2.04 per square foot, per year.
We estimate that pursuing energy efficiency within the workspace — turning off lights in spaces that don’t need them, putting computers to sleep when leaving the office, and upgrading some equipment — can save between 10-15% of energy expenses annually. This represents over a million dollars of cost savings and also delivers a positive environmental impact.
Each and every individual within an office can help make a positive impact this summer by following a few simple best practices: