Nearly 28 million people work from home at least part of the time, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While this can save time and fuel by reducing your commute, it may increase your home energy use. Improving the energy efficiency of your home office equipment will help you save on utility costs without hampering your productivity.
Save Energy & Money
- Make sure computers and other office equipment are turned off when they are not in use for an extended period.
- Many electronic devices continue to use standby power even after they are turned off. Connect your office equipment to a power strip as a central shut-off to eliminate standby power losses.
- Set office equipment, such as printers and scanners, to automatically switch to sleep mode when not in use. In addition to saving energy, the equipment will stay cooler, which will help to extend its useful life.
- Use a laptop computer instead of a desktop. Laptops use less than one-third the energy of a typical desktop computer.
- Adjust the thermostat to the unoccupied setting. This avoids wasting energy by conditioning the entire house while you are occupying only a small portion of it. Consider using a space heater in winter or ceiling fan in summer to maintain comfort.
- Use task lighting with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). A desk lamp uses less energy than whole-room lighting.
When purchasing new office equipment, make sure that it is ENERGY STAR qualified. ENERGY STAR certified products use less energy than standard models. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if every home office product purchased in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR qualified, Americans would save an estimated $75 million a year in energy costs.