A more extensive energy efficiency audit procedure will help calculate the financial and greenhouse achievable from equipment upgrades. There are a number of tailored financing options for equipment upgrades, like loans and leasing, which help reduce the upfront capital required and enable more regular upgrading to new more efficient models as they become available.
Computers, monitors and printers
The Energy Star scheme nominates the most energy efficient office equipment, including very low or nil standby power. Developed in the US, it has been adopted here in Australia for computers, printers and monitors - so look for the logo. As a general approach, providing laptops and docking stations can save 50% - 90% on energy use in comparison to desktop computer towers, depending on usage habits. This approach can increase the mobility of your workforce.
Managing your corporate data through virtual servers may offer energy efficiency benefits by removing the data centre and its temperature and humidity control loads from the tenancy or base building and having it managed instead by an expert provider capable of optimising its running performance.
With the exponential growth in storage and processing capacity, upgrading old servers can substantially reduce the number of machines required to deliver IT requirements. The rise of cloud computing means that more processing is done off the machine terminal. This might mean that companies should invest more in their internet connection and less in the processing power of individual machines.
When choosing other appliances and white goods, the energy rating indicates the energy consumption in kWh over a year. The more stars, the better for lower running costs and less environmental impact. Energy rating labels are mandatory on refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners and televisions, making it easy to compare different models.
When choosing appliances or whitegoods also consider:
- smaller water boilers cost less to buy and run and alternatives like electric kettles are more efficient to run
- choose a small bar fridge if it only needs to cater for a few staff
- select whitegoods with a high energy star rating.
For more information, see Green Procurement.