Will your company really make any kind of headway if there’s only negligible savings in power consumption by turning off office equipment instead of just putting it asleep? If only you do it, no. Dun & Bradstreet estimates there are over 22 million businesses in the U.S.
An combined and organized effort would definitely make headway.
When in Rome
In our last post we explored what happens when a seemingly negligible amount of electricity consumption is multiplied by the population of an industrial nation.
About 60 million people live in Italy. It’s estimated that around 5% of our country’s electricity consumption is from electronic devices that use “vampire power.” And that turns out to be equivalent to a whole year’s worth of electricity consumption for the entire country of Italy.
So, the answer is yes. A small effort applied by many can make headway. We’ll have to work together for that accomplishment. In the meantime, here’s what you as an individual company can do.
It’s unrealistic to decide you can achieve a perfect score if you set out to find solutions for all of the office equipment your office still munching away on kilowatts when no one’s there.
You’ll have equipment you simply can’t separate from a power source. You can, however, find and take care of the rest.
Start by doing an audit on everything with a plug in your office. The European Union, Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States regulate energy-saving products. Look for an Energy Star certification. These products are guaranteed to meet low-energy consumption criteria.
Replace the energy-wasters.
The easiest (although not the most practical) solution
”Unplug an electronic device when it’s not in use.” Okay, that’s just not gonna fly well with your staff.
A bette mousetrap––er, power strip
Technology and innovation are taking power strips to the next level. You can now find them with built-in programmable motion detectors. Plug in your always-on “vampire power” devices and select an appropriate time period for the motion sensor. These intelligent power strips also have outlets that bypass the control of the motion sensor, so you can use these for electronic devices that shouldn’t ever be turned off.
Other power strips tackle energy consumption from a “master/slave” approach. Let’s say you have a computer at your desk. It’s likely got a separate external monitor, powered speakers, and other peripherals. If you power down your computer, these peripherals might still be drawing a small amount of that “vampire power.”
Your computer is the master. It gets plugged in to the appropriate outlet on the strip. The rest of your peripherals are plugged into slave receptacles. When the strip senses that your computer is off or drawing standby power, it completely shuts off power access to the peripherals
The next step is to connect these devices to a power strip or surge protector. Then it’s a simple matter of flipping a single switch. Many strips have LED indicators, so you’ll know it’s the strip – and not a malfunctioning device – preventing you from getting a copy of the spreadsheet you sent to the printer.
Make a ripple
How much electricity will you save this way? You would have to perform a before-and-after audit and create an energy profile to know for sure.
“Why bother if I’d be one of the few companies doing this?” How about because this is how most transformations begin. It starts with a few people who do bother. They do something about it. Then they share what they’ve done. The ripple becomes a trickle. The trickle becomes a wave. The wave becomes a movement.
Care to do some rippling? Share this post.