6) Energy Inefficiency Scavenger Hunts
While your patrols may be assigned to seek and correct very specific oversights like lights left on and phantom load appliances, you can also get teams involved in seeking less obvious instances of energy inefficiency. They might determine that the break room fridge could be warmed a few degrees safely to save power, or that the coffee pot was reheating sludge for hours after the morning fill-up. There are likely to be dozens of energy efficient setups or procedures in every company that could be improved with just a little observation and thought. Encourage your team to find these instances and consider holding special events to hunt them down and dispense rewards for good ideas.
7) Inventions to Use Less Power
Speaking of getting good ideas from the employees, it’s also possible that they will be able to not just find inefficiencies but to invent new and more efficient ways to do things. Not every invention will be the next big energy efficiency solution but it might work for your office. You may find your staff trying to solve common problems with paperclips and rubber bands or someone might bring in an air fryer for the break room to provide an energy-efficient microwave alternative.
8) Shut Down Computers
Whether you run an office building stacked with workstations or there are just one or two computers in the back of your business premises, every modern business has at least one desktop computer. These are remarkably energy-efficient considering their capabilities but each computer (and all its accessories) can still eat a notable amount of power. Your employees can make a difference in the power bill simply by remembering to turn off their computers at night and switch off the monitors. If phantom load is suspected or detected, a good way to make sure there is none is to plug every computer into its own power strip, then flip off the strip once the computer has safely shut down. This blocks any attached cables from drawing power through the ‘off’ power strip overnight.
9) LED Desk Lamps
One of the most important ways that employees can contribute to the energy efficiency effort is how they use their desk accessories and gadgets. Many people will bring little devices like space heaters, fans, desk lights, or small radios to work and these do take up power. While it’s generally considered bad form to ban desk devices, you can encourage everyone to get more efficient. LED bulbs in desk lamps is a great starting place, along with solutions like hot water bottles instead of space heaters, and smaller USB powered desk fans which take less energy. When your employees are excited about energy efficiency, they’ll have fun thinking of new solutions to their desk environment energy needs.
10) Work on Laptops
Finally, it may be tradition to have most of your office employees work on desktop computers but mobile technology has recently outpaced desktops in terms of both energy efficiency and popularity. Consider replacing some of those desktops with company laptops which have their own batteries and are surprisingly more efficient with power. Not only do laptops offer more functionality for less electricity, their batteries can also keep everyone working during short-term power outages that last no more than half an hour.
Thank you for joining us on this journey through 10 of the many ways employees can contribute to small business electricity policies. If your business is looking to get greener, don’t forget that your team is there for you and it’s easy to turn energy efficiency into a sequence of fun games and opportunities to dispense rewards.