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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Who’s the Boss?

By James Stevenson, Pinellas County Extension Educator

Wanna score some points with the Brass? How about offering to help green the office? Your efforts could save the company hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year. Greening an office is just as easy as greening your home. Unfortunately most offices do not have a champion making sure that waste is avoided. Here are a few tips to help you evaluate the office, and some suggestions to take up the ladder:
  • Conduct energy audits to determine current use and identify conservation opportunities:

  • Purchase or replace obsolete equipment and appliances with those certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR® Program

  • Replace older fluorescent fixtures with newer, low-mercury CFL

  • Use programmable thermostats to ensure reductions during off hours and keep thermostats at 78 degrees or higher

  • Reduce hot, outdoor air from entering the building and eliminate the loss of cooled air with weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors

  • Insulate hot water piping from water heaters to the wall or ceiling pipe; wrap tanks in an insulating blanket if the water heater’s energy factor is less than 59 degrees

  • Lower the thermostat on hot water heaters; 115 degrees is comfortable for most uses

  • Turn off PCs, monitors, printers, and copiers nightly and on weekends. If unable to switch off the entire computer, turn off the monitor and printer

  • Turn computers, copiers and other office equipment to low-power standby mode when not in use

  • Use laptop computers and ink jet printers, if available, since they use 90 percent less energy than desktop and laser printer.


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