Turning off lights after use reduces your electricity bill. It’s probably the easiest way to save money.
A) A normal bulb uses 60 watts of energy in an hour. The same bulb when switched off can save nearly 22,000 watts or 22 kW energy per year! Considering electricity costs $0.10 per hour, you could save $2.2 for switching off one light for one hour every day throughout the year. For eight hours when not in use and switched off, the same light can save you $18 per year and $180 if there are ten such lights. These savings can go up if the lights are switched off on weekends and holidays. Now imagine how much money and energy you are NOT saving by keeping lights on after work or on weekends and holidays. Also, nearly all incandescent bulbs use 10% to 15% of electricity to produce light whereas the rest is turned into heat. So turn off the lights if you are not going to return in five minutes. Make sure your lights are turned off on weekends and holidays.
B) Stick a note at every lighting switch like ‘turn off the lights’ or ‘Don’t forget to turn off the lights’ to remind people. Or purchase posters and stick them up in the office.
C) Ask yourself how many lights you need. Do you need the decorative lights? Maybe you need a task light instead of lighting the entire room. A regular lighting bulb consumes 60-100 watts. Get rid of fixtures not in use.
D) Place your work area near the windows and use natural light. You don’t need a lamp when the room is sunlit. Consider using daylight dimming controls. These devices lower artificial light depending on the ambient natural light. According to the EPA, daylighting controls can boost energy savings by up to 40%. Corridors, open cubicles or private offices near windows can effectively use daylight dimming controls. Solatube Daylight Dimmers may cost between $180 and $250.
E) For areas that are not occupied continuously such as conference rooms, break rooms, individual offices, hallways or basement, install occupancy sensors. The occupancy sensors will automatically switch the lights on/off when you enter or exit the room. Occupancy sensors can eliminate 20% – 80% of lighting energy costs. An occupancy sensor will cost between $50-$100. They are easy to install; if you can replace a light switch, you can install an occupancy sensor.
F) For exterior lighting, use motion sensors. Whenever anything moves within the range of the sensors, the area will be automatically illuminated. Make sure your exterior lights are switched off in the day. A timer can also be used to control the exterior lighting. Lumapro motion sensors cost over $25.
G) According to Future Forests, only 5% of the power drawn by cell phone chargers is actually used to charge phones. The other 95% is wasted when you leave it plugged into the wall, but not into your phone. Turn off or unplug the phone and other battery chargers.
H) A typical desktop computer consumes 65-250 watts whereas a laptop 15-45 watts. Set your computer in energy saving mode. Make the power settings to go into sleep or standby mode within 15 minutes of inactivity. Click here to learn how to set the computer. Turn off the computer at the end of the day. Consider using a laptop computer.
I) Turn off printers and copiers when not in use. A printer uses 10 watts in standby mode. Electronic devices with LCD screen and clocks use energy even when not in use. Stick an energy saving poster near the printer and copier to remind yourself and others.