Mary E. Parsons

Bringing Energy Efficiency to Work With You

With winter here, it’s time to think about energy efficiency in your office. Heating the office is a major expense and finding ways to save energy will benefit your bottom line.

What to do

A good place to start is with an evaluation of your heating system, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommended. A professional energy audit will help you determine options for managing your energy budget. Most of your employees try to save on heating costs in their own homes, and some of those methods may translate into ways for your company to save energy. Meet with your employees and present the facts about the costs to heat the office and develop a goal for energy savings.

How to do it

There are many ways to achieve improved energy efficiency in your office. Some options include:

  • Heating zones – Most heating systems can be adjusted to run in zones. If there are meeting rooms or areas of the office that aren’t in constant use, having these rooms on a different zone will allow you to keep them at a lower temperature when they’re unoccupied.
  • Office temperature – The temperature of the office is usually an area of controversy among your employees. Trying to find a temperature that everyone likes can be difficult, so talk with your employees to agree upon a range that will keep most people happy. Consider sending out an anonymous survey to get some data to help you.
  • Thermostats – Adjustable thermostats can be set to run at a warmer temperature during working hours and reduce to a lower temperature overnight and on weekends. Some thermostats are Bluetooth adaptable, which provides convenience to office management when you need to adjust the thermostat on the go.
  • Window treatments – If possible, install adjustable window treatments. On sunny days, keeping the blinds open can allow sunlight to heat the office.
  • Doors – The opening and closing of exterior doors can have a big impact on heating efficiency. Try to limit the use of doors that open into workspaces, and all doors should be properly sealed and fitted to prevent drafts.

Depending on the location of your business, energy expenses can be a major portion of your budget. Taking some time to analyze your usage will reveal methods to save money, as well as help your employees become more environmentally conscious.

Mary Parsons is retired from a 30-year career in the insurance industry. She worked in the claims department of a major insurance carrier as a claims adjuster, manager and a member of a catastrophe team. Since her retirement, she has developed a career as a freelance writer. As an insurance professional, she has been a contributor to several insurance websites.