Most Lancashire businesses have well-honed Christmas routines that ensure their workplaces are put into safe hibernation for a few days. But this year has been anything but routine, and that means your regular plans may already have gone out of the window. So if you’re anticipating a very different sort of Christmas break this year, remember to take these steps to ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities to save energy and cut costs.
1. Turn the heating down: Dropping the temperature of your workplace by just one degree can save 8% on fuel consumption. So if you’re closing the office/workshop for a few days, taking advantage of frost control or holiday settings on your boiler, heaters or HVAC system can mean big savings without any risk of frozen pipes.
2. Close doors and windows: it’s not just a potential security issue – leaving windows or doors ajar can confuse thermostats and force the heating to work far harder than it should.
3. Switch off the lights: Unless your lights are motion activated (in which case, they’ll sort themselves out) remember to do a final check for rogue desk lamps and Christmas tree lights left on. LEDs don’t use much energy – but it’s still a waste that can add up if lots of them are left on.
4. Stop sleep modes: From desktop PCs to CNC machines, lots of workplace kit comes with a handy sleep mode for fast reboots. But ‘sleep’ is not the same as ‘off’ and whilst sleep modes use less energy than full operating mode, it’s still a waste compared to powering down completely. Pay particular attention to monitors, the piece of equipment most likely to be left on standby.
5. Switch off non-essential equipment: They’re so much part of the furniture that it’s often easy to overlook water heaters, vending machines and photocopiers. Left on, they can be power-hungry, so switch off whenever you can. Just remember to flush water coolers, heaters and kettles when you next switch them back on again.
6. Bring Christmas cheer: Switching everything off is all very well, but what happens if you have a skeleton staff in the office over the Christmas period? Do you really have to switch everything back on again? We’d suggest treating the team to some speciality teas/coffees/hot chocolates, giving them a kettle, and leaving everything else switched off.
7. Make energy saving a team initiative: Yes, the job of saving energy might ultimately fall to the estates manager/team. But when you give everyone within your business the responsibility for their own area you’re likely to achieve better results. Send a checklist to everyone in the days before Christmas, so every monitor, microwave and machine press has an ‘owner’ who’ll take responsibility for ensuring it’s off.