energy-efficient-office-equipment
Small Business Energy Savings | February 3, 2017

How to Shop for the Best Energy Efficient Office Equipment

The year is young and business goals are still fresh in the minds of most small business owners. Often, near the top of the list are ways to save on operating costs, including energy costs. Presidents Day sales can be a great time to find deals in your quest for a more energy-efficient office space. Here are some suggestions for how to shop for the best energy efficient office equipment on this popular sales weekend.

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How to Shop for the Best Energy Efficient Printers

Looking for a printer with an ENERGY STAR certification label is always a good place to start when shopping for the best energy efficient printers for your office space. The federal agency sets standards that ensure the printer is operating at maximum efficiency and using the least amount of energy possible. Here are a few other pointers to keep in mind when shopping for the best energy efficient printers for your office:

  • Look for a printer that has a sleep mode and automatic shut-off mode. Both can ensure that the printer is not using energy during the times when no one is printing.
  • Choose a printer with various quality settings — sometimes you don’t need a high quality print version of a document, which uses the most ink and energy. Having options for print quality means you can save on energy and costs.

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How to Shop for the Best Energy-Saving Surge Protector

We all understand that surge protectors — those power strips that allow multiple devices to be plugged into a single outlet — are helpful in a situation like a lightning strike, where there could be a sudden disruption or electrical surge. They’re also useful if you have more appliances than electrical outlets. What you might not realize is that surge protectors can also help save energy.

Here’s how energy-saving surge protectors help: Our many devices are using electricity even when they are switched off. Known as “vampire power,” “phantom energy,” or standby power, this drainage costs consumers more than $19 billion in electricity costs a year, Treehugger reports.

The easiest way to fight vampire power is to unplug devices when they’re not in use. Undoing five or six devices can be a pain, however. Enter the energy saving surge protector. Regardless of how many devices are plugged into that strip, a single flip of the switch turns them all off. Voila! When shopping for the best energy saving surge protector, be sure to:

  • Look for one that has a light that indicates when it is no longer protecting your equipment. Surge protectors don’t last forever, and there’s no point having one that’s no longer actively protecting against surges.
  • While it might be tempting to get the biggest surge protector you can, experts suggest that protectors work best if they have no more than 10 outlets on a strip.

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How to Shop for the Best Energy Efficient Copiers

ENERGY STAR-certified copiers are the best place to start when looking for energy efficient copiers for your office. Here are some other tips for finding the copier that works best for you and your team:

  • Choose the right size copier for your needs. While it might be tempting to save money on a cheaper model, if the copier can’t handle the speed and quantity of printing your office requires, it will likely break down and not operate as efficiently overall. Build in a cushion for growth should your company needs expand.
  • Choose a copier with an automatic sleep mode and shut-off mode to save on energy costs.

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How to Shop for the Best Energy Efficient Computers

ENERGY STAR has increased its requirements for the best energy efficient computers to receive their certifications; there are requirements for everything from desktops and notebook computers to workstations. Small-scale servers must meet energy guidelines. If all the computers sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR-certified, we would save more than $1 billion in energy costs annually and about 15 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions, ENERGY STAR says. That’s equivalent to the emissions of more than 1.4 million vehicles.

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How to Shop for the Best Energy Efficient Monitors

ENERGY STAR has added a new level to its recognition of the best energy efficient monitors and other office equipment. This standard, ENERGY STAR’s Most Efficient 2017, is awarded to energy efficient office equipment that meets requirements for both energy efficiency and the latest in technological innovation. Computer monitors are among the equipment included in this new area, so looking at this list is a good place to start.

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How to Shop for the Best Energy Efficient Coffee Makers

ENERGY STAR does not rate energy efficient coffee makers. Inhabit, however, suggests two ways that you can make your office caffeine fix more eco-friendly:

  • Look for coffee makers that don’t require paper filters. Instead, opt for energy efficient coffee makers that have reusable filters.
  • Supply coffee mugs for the office rather than disposable paper or styrofoam cups.

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How to Shop for the Best Energy Efficient Tea Kettle

General wisdom suggests that using an electric kettle is the best energy efficient tea kettle. Rather than relying on the additional heat source required to heat a stove element or a microwave (which is also heating the mug in addition to the water in it), an electric kettle focuses all its energy on the water itself. Treehugger says that the electric tea kettle is 81 percent more energy efficient at heating water for tea than a microwave or the stove.

You can further increase the efficiency of your office tea kettle by following a few of these tips from Green Energy Efficient Homes:

  • Only boil what you need; no need to boil four cups of water if you’re making a single cup of tea.
  • Set the temperature for what you actually need — while water for tea does need to be hot for the tea to properly steep, it does not actually have to boil. Choose a kettle that enables you to choose water temperature for maximum savings.

As you can see, taking small steps toward purchasing energy efficient office equipment can add up to bigger savings over the course of a year. If you want more information about small business office energy savings, follow our blog for more tips and ideas.

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