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How can you reduce energy consumption in the workplace?

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Turn off the light when you leave a room, turn off the heating when you leave your home... These are gestures that we should all do at home in an innocuous way, whether it is for economic or ecological reasons. But these habits also have their place in companies! Beyond providing products, services or even jobs, the company has today a much wider role in our society. Indeed, the company has many responsibilities, whether in terms of quality, employee well-being, or ecology.


Electricity consumption in a few figures


According to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in partnership with the Climate Accountability Institute (CAI), 100 companies alone are responsible for 71% of global greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.



At their own scale, French companies have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, if only through their energy consumption. According to its report "Bilan électrique 2020", the network operator RTE estimates that gross electricity consumption in metropolitan France that year is 449 TWh. Electricity alone accounts for 5% of CO2 emissions in France.


And while the residential sector accounts for more than a third of French electricity consumption, businesses come in second place with 27%. A considerable impact, which could be improved with simple gestures.


So, how can you reduce your electricity consumption in your company, and therefore your impact on the environment? We give you the right gestures to follow.


1. Manage the heating


According to the ADEME, heating represents 50% of energy consumption in the tertiary sector. It is therefore necessary to control its use in order to reduce your energy expenses. Indeed, if heating is an essential comfort, it is still possible to optimize it.


Delineate the heating zones

In a company, it is not useful to heat the whole building. In offices, the ideal temperature is between 19 and 21°C, and a little less in the washrooms. Some rooms, such as the stairs or the storeroom, do not necessarily need to be heated.

Each degree of temperature gain on your thermostat reduces your annual energy consumption for heating by 5 to 10%.


Avoid losses

In order to keep heat in important rooms, it is important to close doors and avoid drafts. Check for heat loss through windows. Perform an EPD (Energy Performance Diagnostic), to improve the energy efficiency of your premises.


Promote the diffusion of heat

To ensure that the heat circulates evenly in your premises, it is important to clear the areas around the heat emitters. Do not clutter the radiators with unnecessary objects or place furniture in front of them, as this can cause them to store heat. Of course, it is useless to heat your business when no one is present. Remember to turn it off in the evening and on weekends or program your thermostat.

Ventilation of rooms, hot water and air conditioning are also elements that can influence your electricity consumption.


2. Controlling lighting


After heating, lighting is the second largest consumer of electricity. Favour natural light as much as possible, for the rest here are some advices to reduce the expenses at this level.


Favour low-energy light bulbs

Low-energy light bulbs consume up to 15 times less than incandescent bulbs and have a longer life span.


Install timers and motion detectors

Some rooms are only used by people, such as bathrooms or corridors. Installing motion detectors in these areas can be useful. Some rooms can be equipped with timers so that they are not left lit unnecessarily.


Turning off the lights

Of course, everyone should make the effort to turn off the lights when leaving a room. In the same way, when leaving in the evening or during the weekend, the last one must make sure that everything is turned off, lights, heaters and electrical appliances.


3. Reduce the consumption of electrical equipment


Of course, electrical equipment, and especially electronic equipment since new technologies consume about 10% of the world's electricity, are important energy consumers in a company. It is therefore necessary to adopt good habits concerning them.


Opt for less energy consuming equipment

As we know, electrical appliances require a lot of energy to produce. But they continue to consume energy throughout their life cycle, and even during their recycling. It is therefore preferable to choose appliances that are energy efficient and durable over time, by following the labels and certifications that indicate their level of consumption.


Limit the standby time of appliances

There is no point in leaving an appliance on, thinking that maybe you or someone else will need it later. Computers, printers, photocopiers, coffee machines and other devices on standby consume a lot of energy without even being used! It's best to turn them off and on again when needed.


Do not leave appliances plugged in

When devices are plugged in, they continue to consume unnecessarily. Let's take the most basic example: a phone charger. In addition to being dangerous, a charger plugged in "empty", without a phone at the end, for 3 hours a day for a year, generates an annual electricity consumption of about 285 Wh. Not much indeed, but multiplied by the 5.3 billion people who own a cell phone...


If you don't want to unplug everything every time, why not simply opt for a power strip? Quick and efficient!


Conclusion


Ecology is everyone's business. Today more than ever, as a company, your role is to educate by raising awareness among your employees. Bring them information, propose them solutions. Explain all the small everyday actions they can take and their concrete impact on energy consumption.


By simple means, it is possible to encourage employees to adopt good habits without frustrating them. Habits that may even be reproduced at home and passed on to their children.


Also consider having an energy performance assessment performed by a professional. This is an excellent way to become aware of the savings you could make quickly and easily.


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