Businesses which are based in an office environment are diverse, yet there are several key areas where energy is commonly wasted. Figure 1 details where the biggest savings can be made: in lighting, heating, ventilation, airconditioning and office equipment. Note that proportions of energy use will vary according to occupancy levels and whether the building has airconditioning or mechanical cooling installed. In an office without cooling, the greatest energy user is heating. In each of the areas identified in the chart, there are three main opportunities to save energy:
- Switching off – All energy consuming equipment should be switched off when not required. This can be done by staff, by timer switches or by adjusting building control systems and need not cost any money.
- Maintenance – A number of energy efficiency measures can be carried out as part of routine maintenance procedures for no extra cost.
- Refurbishment/replacement – Energy saving measures taken when planning major building, refurbishment or replacement of equipment can be extremely cost effective.