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Six energy saving actions you should take ahead of the Christmas break

Save energy and money with our handy tips and shutdown checklist 


computer on standby

Leaving equipment running when it’s not needed wastes energy and money at any time of year. But leaving equipment on throughout the Christmas holiday period when no one is at work can send energy bills soaring needlessly high. 

Take note if you’re one of the lucky businesses that will be working reduced hours over the festive period, or closing your doors for a well-deserved holiday - a typical office-based business with 50 members of staff could waste over £400 by failing to turn off lights, heating and IT equipment. Bah humbug to that. 

The good news is that, by scheduling in a little time to do some final checks around your premises before you leave, you can relax in the knowledge that you’re not wasting energy or money, and that you’re doing your bit for the environment. Result - straight onto Santa’s good list.

Here are six key things you should do to save energy and money if you’re going to be the last one out of the building this Christmas.

1. Turn off and unplug electrical equipment

Sounds simple. But how many times have you seen your colleagues’ computers and monitors left on overnight, or over a weekend? It’s a common problem. 

What if all your staff did this over the holidays? Our elves crunched some numbers and they estimate that if 30 members of your staff forget to turn off their computers and monitors for the holiday fortnight, then this alone would needlessly add over £70 to your electricity bill. 

When you check and turn off any computers and monitors your colleagues have left on, remember to do the same for other electrical equipment too - such as air conditioning units, water coolers, vending machines, fans and heaters, display screens, printers and photocopiers.

2. Turn off lighting

We’re not just talking fairy lights on the Christmas tree here. And we’re not talking about external security and safety lighting either – keep those on. 

We mean checking all those cupboards, storerooms, meeting rooms, bathrooms and parking garages, where lights are very often left on when they shouldn’t be. 

Just 10 58W bulbs left on for the holiday would waste over £20 of electricity, so it pays to have a quick check round. 

3. Adjust heating controls

Don’t forget your heating controls. They are frequently overlooked, and boilers are often left to run as normal even when premises are unoccupied. 

This can be a particularly big expense and a nasty surprise when your next heating bill comes in.  

Heating a 1,000-square metre office, with an electric heating system, would cost around £450 over the holiday fortnight  - definitely not what you asked Santa for. While a small amount of frost protection is recommended, most of this extra expense is completely avoidable. 

4. Check your kitchen and canteen 

It’s very likely that there won’t be as much food being kept in your fridges and freezers over the holidays (indeed, you should encourage staff to take away and use any items that will have perished by the time you get back to work). 

If you find that’s the case and there’s not much food left, you should consolidate what you have and unplug any equipment that’s not needed.  There’s no point running several bare fridges and freezers over the holidays if one or two would do the job just fine.

5. Turn off taps

A tap that’s left running for a week or two might not break the bank, but it is a waste of water and – worst case scenario – it could lead to flooding. It’s best avoided for both those reasons.

When you are checking your taps, you can take this chance to look out for any leaks or drips too. A leaking hot water tap can add hundreds of pounds to your annual water bill, and thousands to your energy bill, so you would want to take a note to get it fixed as soon as possible.

6. Download our handy Christmas shutdown checklist

If you’re going to be the last one out of your workplace this Christmas, download our handy checklist. It’s full of handy reminders of all the actions you should take to make sure you’re not wasting resources and can enjoy the festive period worry free. Download it here.  

And remember – saving energy isn’t just for Christmas. If you would like to find out what you can do to save in your business all year round, our friendly advisors are here to help. You can reach them on 0808 808 2268. 

 

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Resource Efficient Scotland is a programme from Zero Waste Scotland. Free support to business is funded by the Scottish Government and by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.

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