10 Fast, Easy Tips To Cool Your Company - From Sun Microsystems

Dave Douglas, VP of Eco Responsibility at Sun Microsystems, whom we interviewed earlier, sends these ten tips along. He reminds us that many company leaders and employees do not realize the role they can play in easing the strain on our power grids. "One of the most important things to remember is that energy conservation shouldn't end at home. Many office workers' habits change dramatically once they get to work. They tend to stop doing simple things they do at home to save energy, such as turning off lights when they leave the room and shutting down computers and monitors. Businesses don't cut power consumption -- people do! Bring those good habits into the office with you and you will help your employer avoid black-outs, save money and be kinder to the planet"
· Try using natural light. If your office is too dark, try a reading light. The average reading light consumes about 60 watts — much less than overhead lighting.

· Don't depend on the sensors. Even if your office is equipped with sensors that switch lights on and off automatically, there is still a lag in the time the sensor takes to turn off lights. Also, motion in hallways or from other activity can reactivate your lights. Both can add up to real dollars and greenhouse gas pollution.

· Shut the blinds first thing in the morning before you feel the need to. Doing this early on in the day reduces the overall heat gain of the building and reduces the need to use air conditioning. You can enjoy that view again once the heat wave subsides.

· Dump your screensaver. If you still have one of those screensavers that move — whether the psychedelic or more tame variety — these can consume as much energy as when your computer is in use.

· Put your computer to sleep. Most computers come with an energy saving feature that automatically puts your computer into "sleep" mode after a set amount of time if you're not using it. Studies show that 50-80% computers are not set to go into "sleep" mode. With a few clicks, you can set up your computer to go to sleep, or just ask your IT department to help you.

· Better yet, click off the power button. Your monitor is using energy even while it sleeps. Turn off the power button when you're not using it, and power down any other hardware you're not using, whether in your office, or elsewhere. Unplugging your equipment at the end of the day can bring the energy from 150 watts down to 0 .

· Pull the plugs. Believe it or not, your electronic devices may still use energy when they are turned off because some use "standby power." The US EPA estimates that 40% of the energy used by home electronics like Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), big screen televisions and cable decoder boxes is consumed when the devices are turned off or in standby mode.

· Kill the space heater. Despite the sweltering heat outside, many offices are over-air conditioned and cause workers to run space heaters. Space heaters can consume as much as 1500 watts per hour. During an energy crunch, try working in a common area such as a cafeteria or sitting outside. You should also contact your office manager or facilities to get to the root of the problem. It could be an easy fix or a sign of a larger problem that needs addressing.

· Get a free consult from your local utility. Many electric utilities offer free evaluation services. They will walk you through the power drains in your facility and help you conserve--- both energy and money.

· Participate in a "demand response" program. Your local utility probably offers a demand response program, in which your company can be alerted when hot weather is straining the local power grid and threatening a black out. Your utility will call you during those peak times and ask you to turn down any non-essential lights or equipment. Some will ask that you simply reduce your usage by 5%, and that small amount across hundreds of local businesses can actually prevent a black out. Participating in a demand response program can save your business money since electricity is generally most expensive during these peak times.

Via:: Bite Communications