The pandemic has affected all businesses, both big and small. With lockdowns and travel restrictions in place, companies are losing money because people can’t go to work. On top of that, it appears that, surprisingly, energy consumption was not reduced as much as expected. Only a small reduction is felt, but not enough to keep up with the financial losses that businesses are experiencing.
This is why further steps to reduce utility bill costs need to be done, and here is what companies can do to save while in a pandemic.
Fewer lights and Less HVAC
Like many others, your office will likely be working with a reduced staff to encourage health and social distancing. Along with this, there may need to be some changes in your overall use of utilities. If your office is used to working with all rooms lit up and the thermostat on high, that would need to change to save costs.
Because you will have fewer people in the office, not all areas will require intense lighting. There may even be completely unused rooms. In this case, it would be best if you open fewer lights in the office overall. Reducing HVAC use can significantly make a difference since it is responsible for 40 percent of energy consumption, with lights coming in second at 20 percent.
In the same sense, you may not need to turn the air condition up so high either. Fewer employees mean fewer bodies to heat. That means your thermostat and air condition will not be working as hard as a regular workday.
Change your systems
What’s good about having fewer people in the office is that you can make upgrades and changes with more ease. You can make inspections and see if some of your appliances or equipment are taking up more electricity than needed. In the same sense, installing new facilities will be a lot easier with fewer people around.
For instance, there are new types of water heaters that use less energy and heat at a much more efficient rate. Some can even avoid standby heat loss, so they can remain operable even when employees are not in the office. Using more modern computer systems is also another way that you can save on electricity.
One idea that you can adopt when working with a skeletal staff is choosing when in-office work is needed. There is a good chance that a fair number of your office is working remotely. You can strategically plan their days so that the office will only be used on certain days of the week. When the office is closed, utilities will not be used, and thus, you save more on electricity.
However, some companies cannot operate without staff working in the week. If yours are one of them, you can have an extra day of the week when the office will be closed. It can be on a Friday or Monday, so you have three consecutive days when everything can stay closed. Laptops are also a good alternative as they use significantly less energy than computers.
Close unused rooms
If you are a large office, then you likely have multiple rooms for meetings, presentations, guests, and other such purposes. Uses of these rooms may have been reduced since the pandemic. With fewer people in the office, meetings don’t have to be held in large conference rooms anymore. So while things are still adjusting to the new normal, what you can do is temporarily close these rooms.
Closing these rooms means that you no longer have to open the lights or the air conditioner in these rooms. You can also save more energy by unplugging computers and equipment to avoid passive energy consumption. All you need to do to make sure that the technology there doesn’t degrade is by opening them every few weeks for a couple of hours. That is just enough to get the parts working to prevent damage but not enough to make an impact on your bills.