Energy Saving Tips for Small Offices

The office of our Solar PV warehouse in Marrickville is a great place to test energy saving strategies and equipment.

Start with simple ideas

By far, the number one thing we have done is use labels to identify:

  • how to switch items off (in case a shutdown procedure led to reluctance to turn off);
  • where to switch items off (to make it easy);
  • how much energy certain lamps use, clearly marked on the switch (to motivate good behaviour); and
  • which lamps switches control (to avoid too many lamps being switched on for the sake of confusion).

Labels can be made using a small hand held labelling machine, such as a DYMO Letratag portable unit.

When looking to implement an energy saving strategy, it is important to communicate to staff that you are open to suggestions on how to use energy in the workplace, and to foster a competitive environment between departments, focusing on the energy savings achieved (eg admin ight ‘win’ a hypothetical competition because they cut kWh 10 %, and the warehouse only cut by 5%).

Lighting & Small Appliances:

The old favourites feature here, such as:

  • eliminating standby power;
  • changing work hours to better take advantage of the sun’s light; and
  • thinking of new ways to do the same thing (maybe a desk lamp instead of lighting up the whole office)


There are several things we can now do with modern computers that we couldn’t do as recently as five years ago. The key opportunities for saving energy are:

  1. LED based LCD screens for computers (take care to specify LED backlit screens, as many older LCD units are still around);
  2. Swap ‘spinning platter’ hard disks in computers for solid state flash based units known as SSD drives (these have no moving parts, and often will provide advantages in startup speed and system stability);
  3. Switch to energy efficient settings in the power management section of the Control Panel (windows) or Preferences (MAC OSX);
  4. Use LED or bubblejet printers (in contrast to laser based units, LED printers have no moving print head and have less waste heat – it all adds up to lower energy use and reduced running costs); and
  5. Move to Thin Client computing if you have 10 or more PCs (small consoles on each desk use as little as 4W each)

Happy savings!

Greenforce Energy 2011 – Greener buildings, lasting savings ™ – Marrickville based provider of Solar PV in Sydney Australia.