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It does everybody good to switch off

Energy audits on community sector sites have shown that office equipment can use up to 60%
of an organisation’s bill, so it’s great place to look for ways to cut your energy losses…

tab1 At the end of the day, count the number
of computers that have been left actively running with something displayed on the screen.
Your organisation could be losing up to $327 a year for each computer left with the screen running all the time. Your organisation is also likely to be losing $8 a year for each computer left in standby mode (it appears to be switched off but small lights are glowing on the monitors, hard drives and lap tops). These are estimates for computers that are used for 40 hours a week – energy wastage would be higher for computers
that are only used part time.
tab2 Talk to your manager about the costs and ask to raise it at a team meeting. Discuss it with your team. Be very clear about what you are asking them to do – that they turn off computers and monitors at the end of the day, preferably at the wall. Ask them what might help them to switch off, or what might be stopping them. Commitment helps! Your team could develop an agreement as a group that everyone will to commit to making this happen. Listen to our webinar on behaviour change to help you develop an effective approach for your workplace.
tab2 On random days, every now and then, after everyone has left for the day, leave a small chocolate or treat on the keyboard of those who have switched off their computer and standby power. Include a little note congratulating them for saving energy and $$$ for more important things. This is about culture change and encouragement, so don’t shame or blame those who didn’t switch off. Perhaps leave a little note reiterating your organisation’s commitment to switching off computers and saving energy.

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OTHER IDEAS YOU CAN TRY

  • SECRET SWITCH OFF

    If you’re a bit shy you can try turning off people’s monitors after they’ve gone home. Your colleagues will notice when they log on the next morning. They will wonder who is doing it, and perhaps whether they should be doing it themselves.
  • A POWER BOARD PERHAPS?

    Standby power boards make it easy to switch everything off, and some models make it easier to notice when things are left running. These normally cost between $10 and $20, and could pay themselves off in months if they are switching off continuously running computers.
  • GET SET WITH YOUR SETTINGS

    For instant savings you can set your computer to dim the screen, turn off the display, or put the computer to sleep after a given period of time of inactivity. For most office computers, this can be adjusted in the Control Panel, hardware or Power Options on your start menu.
  • SET UP YOUR COLLEAGUES

    For even bigger savings, get the whole office set up efficiently. Most people don’t know how to adjust their power management settings, and this could be a barrier to big savings. Ask your IT people to send out instructions to all staff, or have someone adjust all computers to the most efficient settings.
  • SCRAP SCREENSAVERS

    Your workplace is losing big $$$ if inactive computers are displaying bright patterns, photos or any other moving or still image. Rather than saving your screen, they are costing your organisation hundreds of dollars in wasted energy.
  • THE GREEDY GLOW

    Many office phones now have luminous LED displays, and these can account for up to 40% of the entire standby power usage on your desk. If your work has a centralised message bank you may be able to switch your phone off with the rest of your desktop equipment at the end of the day.
  • PRINTER POWER DOWN

    Many modern printers have timers and other efficiency settings – make sure these are set so that inactive printers switch to sleep mode. You could speak to your office manager about including the printer in shutdown and lock up procedures for the end of
    the day.

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