The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a great resource for small businesses looking for ideas and direction in a number of areas, including energy efficiency. The SBA’s website (www.sba.gov) provides the following tips saving energy and money related to your office equipment:
- Always buy ENERGY STAR qualified products for your small business. The ENERGY STAR mark indicates the most efficient computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, televisions, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans, and other appliances and equipment.
- Turning off machines when they are not in use can result in enormous energy savings. There is a common misconception that screen savers reduce energy use by monitors; they do not. Automatic switching to sleep mode or manually turning monitors off is always the better energy-saving strategy.
- To maximize savings with a laptop, put the AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically); the transformer in the AC adapter draws power continuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter.
- Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; they use much less energy than desktop computers, resulting in long-term savings.
- Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and PDAs is more cost effective than throwaway batteries. If you must use throwaways, check with your trash removal company about safe disposal options.