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Old 07-04-12, 10:30 AM   #1
RobertSmalls
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Default Saving energy at work

You may not be the owner of the company or the director of maintainence, but there are still opportunities for you to save lots of energy at work.

Here are a few obvious things that you may be doing already:
* Turn out the lights when you leave the room.
* Turn off equipment when it's not in use.
* Keep a recycle bin at your desk.
* Turn off your computer at night.
* Disable your screen saver, and use Power Management Settings instead.
* Defrost the break room freezer.
* Open a window to let in some fresh air when it's nice out.
* Challenge the assumption that you need to turn on the lights inside on a sunny day.

When you do these things deliberately, you're leading by example. You're letting the boss know that you are accustomed to a certain level of respect for conservation and the environment.

I found a vacuum leak at work that was using more electricity than my house. It was a crack in some 5mm diameter vacuum tubing, which had been whistling away, unnoticed. It's not my job to look for vacuum leaks, but I do it anyway.

Is anyone else saving energy at work?

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Old 07-04-12, 11:14 AM   #2
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A lot of my coworkers leave their computer on all the time so they can punch in more quickly or just not have to wait that horrible 1 minute for the machine to boot up. I think its ridiculous and turn mine off every night.

I also take a florescent tube or few out above my desk. There is more than enough light in there. This also has the side effect of turning down the brightness on my monitors (2) at work which saves more power and I believe is easier on your eyes.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:43 AM   #3
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Home Power magazine had a series on guerilla actions, for example replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFs. The wife and I have done this in many hotel rooms, though sometimes we take the CF back home after our stay.

Turning lights and computers off is standard for us wherever we go, as is opening/closing windows and turning the A/C off when Mrs P leaves the room at work. When I was at the university I would turn off the lights (and close the windows during heating season) in empty classrooms if I passed one, and the hall lights if it wasn't dark outside.

This may be splitting hairs, but at school/work/wherever I try to avoid using elevators and automatic doors to reduce global energy usage (not to mention that it's often faster).
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Old 07-05-12, 12:34 PM   #4
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It's funny that looking through this list that the place that I work at, either things are locked down or there is a policy against changing them. I'll discuss.

* Turn out the lights when you leave the room. Can't do this, they are all on and they use a light switch 'key' to turn the lights on and off. There were a few people written up for dislodging the fluorescent tubes above their cubes on the night shift because it's insanely bright inside without outdoor light from the outside. Lights are on 24/7 outside of the conference rooms that are controlled by motion sensors. They cite liability issues with it being darker.
* Turn off equipment when it's not in use. Against policy, the systems don't get security updates which can compromise government regulations against the industry I work in.
* Keep a recycle bin at your desk. We get emails saying that the company recycles but the only recycling we have is a dropoff in the breakroom that says plastic bottles and cans only and has slots for the appropriate sized containers.
* Turn off your computer at night. See note on equipment above.
* Disable your screen saver, and use Power Management Settings instead. This is already implemented and locked down so you can't change power management or screen saver settings but this only allows for monitor shutoff, the system stays on.
* Defrost the break room freezer. They are modern auto-defrost energy star models in my office but there are multiple and there is rarely more food in all 3 to where they really need just one.
* Open a window to let in some fresh air when it's nice out. Skyscraper type building, windows don't open
* Challenge the assumption that you need to turn on the lights inside on a sunny day. Can't turn them off.

This may be splitting hairs, but at school/work/wherever I try to avoid using elevators and automatic doors to reduce global energy usage (not to mention that it's often faster). In my building, there is no option to not use the elevators, the emergency exit stairs have no way in, they lock behind you when you leave so you can only take that route going home. No automatic doors though. They gave everyone free plastic coffee mugs to reduce the cost of styro mugs, half of them ended up in the trash and most still use the convenient styros though.

Sounds like fun, right?

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