Leaving office equipment on 24-7 is not an effective way to reduce energy costs. Yet, many people do that in their home office because it takes too much time to turn them on and off. Energy efficiency is important in your home office as much as anywhere else in your home, and you can still save time while reducing your electricity bill.
Turn Off Devices
Leaving computers and printers on all the time is expensive. This will cause you to use a lot of kilowatts per year. The simple act of shutting off your devices can result in huge savings. It’s not enough just to put your electronic devices on standby. The electricity is hidden when you use standby power, but it’s still being wasted until you actually shut off your electronics.
The first step to reducing the energy you use in your home office is to do an energy audit. Look at everything that you plug into a socket, including phone chargers. You can purchase a plug-in Kill a Watt meter to measure the amount of electricity that each piece of equipment is using. It will even measure the amount of electricity on standby power, which still uses energy, even though the device is not in use.
You can make your computer more efficient by putting its sleep and idle modes to the lowest settings. This will decrease the amount of energy you use while working, because it will switch to sleep and idle modes quicker.
Another option is to replace inefficient equipment to reduce your energy use. You may even qualify for tax deductions or rebates for buying new, efficient equipment.
The devices to be more watchful of are the ones that you don’t use as much as your computer, such as printers and scanners. These are on standby a lot, but you’re still wasting electricity over time when you keep them in this mode. If you’re having trouble remembering to shut them off, try using smart power strips, like the Wattstopper. The way this works is that you plug your computer into the main line and plug printers, copiers and scanners into the secondary line, which you’ll have to manually power up because of its separate on/off switch.
You can use power strips for chargers as well, to avoid the standby problem. When you turn off the switch on the power strip, you cut off electrical power to the chargers or other equipment plugged in. You can use power strips all around your home, to plug in everything from kitchen appliances to televisions. Solar power is another option for chargers. These are made of small solar panels that you set out in the sun to generate energy. For example, the Sunny Flower solar charger can charge the batteries for your cell phone or electronics that use batteries.