Electricity is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements of science. And these days we live in the age of electricity. It is a source of light, heat and all those comforts that we need. Without making unnecessary efforts, with just one push of a button, we get the electricity we need. Thinking about it, we realize that this process is not that quick and easy, and the problem of high monthly bills has always been part of the daily life of many of us. We are always looking for changes to make in our budget to save extra money. One of the easiest ways is right there in your office and your home. And do we think about how we can save on electricity?
It is a well-known fact that ordinary incandescent light bulbs are extremely inefficient, as only 10% of the electricity is used to produce light. The remaining 90% “evaporates” in the form of unnecessary heat. A 60-watt light bulb uses about 220 kWh per year.
A standard desktop computer, for example, needs about 300 kWh of electricity per year, including only the monitor. If we add a wireless modem and router, that’s an additional 90 kWh per year.
Let’s take a look at the average amount of electricity that an office and a household use, as well as some useful tips that can help you reduce your monthly electricity bills.
In an office
How much energy does an office use on average?
All businesses have different energy needs – even if two businesses look identical at first glance, they will operate from different premises that will have different heating, lighting and energy efficiency systems, all of which can affect the amount of energy they use . Even different working hours and employees with different energy usage habits can have an impact on energy consumption.
Energy consumption is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and to give you an idea of how much energy a business like yours needs to use, a study from Bionic informs us of the average kwh consumption for small and medium businesses, with the small being 15,000 – 20 000, and for the average it is 30,000 – 50,000.
1. Turn off artificial lights
Artificial lights consume energy – natural light, meanwhile, is free. If you reduce the use of artificial lighting to the dark areas of the workplace that are out of the reach of the sun, you will no doubt notice a significant difference in your monthly electricity bills.
2. Choose energy efficient light bulbs
In both our home and our office, less energy used means less money spent on electricity bills. If your workplace does not get enough natural light during the day, you can choose low-power lighting. You can also replace existing bulbs with CFL or LED lights. They consume less energy and last for longer periods of time.
3. Choose laptops over desktops
Laptops generally use less energy than desktops, so keep that in mind when purchasing equipment for your workplace.
The size of the monitor also contributes to the amount of power consumed. While graphic designers, for example, cannot work on small screens, there may be many other employees in your company whose work does not depend on huge monitors. Make the right choice and keep the screen size reasonable when it comes to choosing a monitor. Smaller monitors cost less.
4. Use energy-saving features on all devices
Make sure your employees are aware of the energy-saving features of appliances and other electronics such as printers, microwaves and air conditioners.
Most of the modern devices have these options and they are usually very easy to use. In most cases, it is a matter of pressing a button or setting a setting function. Advise everyone to use these features to help reduce energy costs.
5. Use a printer only when necessary
Avoid printing files that can be emailed. There are many ways you can share or store important files these days. Modern technology gives you many options, including cloud storage. As well as reducing paper wastage, this also helps to reduce the total amount of energy consumed by the printer, which roughly consumes around 45W per hour.
6. Consider installing solar panels
Besides being a great source of renewable energy, solar panels are clean, last longer and require little maintenance. Some solar panels may cost you a lot initially, but with the amount of energy and money you save, they pay for themselves sooner than you think.
How much energy does the average household use?
The average four-person home now uses 13 electronic devices (including TVs and laptops). That’s a huge jump from 1990, when only four appliances were typically used, according to the 2017 Energy Consumption Report.
But even though we own more appliances, we still use about the same amount of energy as we did two decades ago, meaning our appliances have become more energy efficient over time. But there’s still plenty you can do to reduce your energy consumption – and save money.
The average consumption for a household is about 300 kWh per month.
1. Turn off appliances after use
When appliances such as TVs, speakers and microwave ovens are left on standby, they can unknowingly siphon large amounts of energy and account for up to 10% of our electricity bill.
2. Choose energy efficient appliances with higher energy ratings
Being able to do the same amount of work with less energy is exactly what the term “energy efficiency” means. The so-called “energy class labels” and products of this class can save you up to 75% of the energy used. The lowest class is marked with G and these appliances have the lowest energy efficiency.
Check the labels before buying new appliances and choose those with four or five energy efficiency marks. While they may cost a little more up front, you’ll end up saving more over the life of the appliance.
3. Use LED lighting
Thinking about whether to choose LED bulbs, energy-saving lamps or incandescent bulbs? Note that LED bulbs typically use the least amount of electricity to achieve the same level of brightness. Most LED lights use only 20-25% of the energy of those old incandescent bulbs and last 15-25 times longer!
After the rapid entry into the market, the price of LED bulbs is decreasing and is expected to decrease even more when more products are available. While LEDs are more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low power consumption.
4. Check your installation
Ask yourself the following questions when checking for air leaks: Do you hear air coming in from under the front door on windy days? Are the doors really well closed?
Keeping your windows, doors and appliances well sealed can make a big difference in your home’s heating or cooling consumption. Get some weatherstrips for your doors and windows. You’ll also need some caulking to seal those leaks around your plumbing, air ducts, and wiring.
5. Night energy
You may not realize that most electric companies charge more for energy during the day than at night. Make sure if you have an hourly meter that you do all your laundry, dishwashing, web surfing and other energy-intensive tasks during off-peak hours. We’ve noticed a difference in our electricity bill, will you too?
6. Set up your fridge
This is another small fix, but it makes a big difference. Check your refrigerator settings. Adjusting the settings by increasing the temperature that should be maintained – this way will keep your food fresh, but also make sure that your device isn’t wasting extra energy by working overtime to keep everything too cold.
7. Keep your freezer full
Who would have thought that all those frozen vegetables and meats you’ve been keeping in your freezer would be useful for saving on your electricity bill. That’s right – having a full freezer can actually help insulate your entire appliance. And guess what? If the freezer is already cold (and stays that way), then it doesn’t have to use up valuable energy to keep your food well-frozen.
8. TV and black appliances
With the TV, the rule applies when it is not in use, disconnect it from the network. If you watch TV mostly in the evening, it is good to set the screen brightness to a medium value. And with regard to all audio systems or additional small electrical appliances, the rule applies that if it lights up, it means that it is consuming a certain amount of electricity, even if the appliance is not working at that moment. Unplugging them manually is the best solution.
9. Cooking stove
Following the cooking programs and turning off the oven shortly before it is fully done will result in the food being cooked with only the residual heat. The same rule applies to the seal of your cooker as it does to the fridge. Losing heat while cooking is also a waste of money. Replacing it with a new gasket could have prevented this. You can use the fan cooking function, so at a lower temperature your oven will use less electricity.
Apart from the main benefit of reducing the amount of energy, which is that you will save on your monthly electricity bill, there is another benefit that we may not be aware of. For example, savings on your electricity bill can be redirected to charging electric vehicles, further contributing to household savings on fuel and electricity costs. Because of the variety of benefits, implementing energy-efficient practices at home and in the office should be, and is, an increasing priority among energy-savvy homeowners and renters alike.