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Your Smarter Workday
The workplace is a powerful space to reduce your carbon footprint.
Our workspaces use a lot of resources. In fact, commercial buildings account for nearly half of the nation’s energy use, according to energystar.gov.
In addition, the amount of paper used in an office per person per day tops out at an average 1.5 pounds. As our workspaces grow in size and number, the amount of resources we consume will grow and the cost of doing business will go up.
We can reverse this trend by changing how our buildings work and modifying our daily habits. Each of us can make a difference. It’s easy when you start small.
More Bright Ideas
Light your space naturally. Working in natural daylight improves mood, motivation, health and productivity, and keeps stress low. If possible, rearrange your desk to take advantage of Hawaii’s daily rays. You’ll use less energy from artificial light inside the building and feel healthier, too.
Discover more tips like these in Hawaiian Electric Company’s “Power to Save for Small Business,” and “Ways to Save at Work” booklets (now available in Korean, with more language versions on the way). Also, check out “Cool tips for Home and Work.” Find them at heco.com under the “energy savings toolkit” tab.
Save More Paper
Every time you print from the Web, you grab lots of unnecessary items, such as links, advertisements and unwanted images, resulting in lots of wasted paper and higher paper costs.
Check out CleanPrint–a free program that allows users to edit down Web content before printing–at formatdynamics.com/bookmarklets/.
Cut down on “print-and-pass.”
Check out Dropbox, a “cloud” service that allows co-workers to save photos, videos and documents to one common area for sharing, reading and editing. Watch a demo and download it for free at dropbox.com.
Hey, you can reuse that!
Reuse office supplies such as paper clips, thumbtacks, binders and binder dividers. Remove old labels from file folders and relabel them for your current project. Swap supplies with co-workers. Challenge yourself: How long can you go before ordering more?
“There are a lot of great federal, state and local rebate incentives to help building owners cover the cost of retrofits,” says Ryan Rutenschroer, co-chair of the U.S. Green Building Council Hawaii chapter’s existing buildings: operation and maintenance (EBOM) committee. “Now is the perfect time to set your building up for high-performance standards.” Learn about rebates available for businesses and download rebate forms at the Hawaii Energy website, hawaiienergy.com.
Scouting Out Savings
Honolulu’s Pacific Guardian Center uses less energy automatically, thanks to Hawaiian Electric’s Energy Scout for Business program. “With Energy Scout, our building communicates with the utility,” says Rutenschroer. When the building needs to use less energy for everyday function, it reduces the amount of power it takes from the electric grid. The best part? “The whole process happens behind the scenes,” he says.
Hawaiian Electric’s SmartBusiness Central helps business owners meet today’s energy challenges. It includes a monthly eNewsletter, advice from researchers, development experts, and engineers, and tools to assist in calculating energy costs and identifying ways to save. Anyone may register for access at http://cbms.heco.com. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Six Simple Steps … to a greener workplace
1. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. CFLs use about one fourth the energy of a standard bulb and last up to 10 times longer.
2. Time for a new monitor? Ask for an LCD flat-screen monitor. Large, deep CRT monitors (commonly found with older computers) use three times the energy of their flat-screen counterparts.
3. Cut down on paper. Instead of printing important emails or other documents, create folders on your computer desktop. Move important files into the folders for use at a later time.
Reduce your line spacing, print on both sides of the page, and print in black and white or grayscale instead of in color.
Scan and email documents instead of printing and snail mailing.
Send drafts via email and enable editing features such as “track changes” instead of writing markups on paper.
4. Replace your standard power strip with a “green” strip. While both types conserve more energy than the traditional outlet, only green power strips automatically stop the current drawn from the outlet when your electronics aren’t in use.
5. Install an ENERGY STAR ® programmable thermostat. Use automatic settings to cool your office optimally during times of day when you need it most.
6. Install motion sensors that kick the lights off automatically when you’re out of the room, reducing the amount of potential wasted energy.
Hawaii’s Employees Do More!
97 percent of Hawaii’s state employees agree they should, and can, do more to help Hawaii conserve. They’ve set a goal to save $100,000 in energy costs this year, by making smart, everyday choices at work. As part of the Capital 10 Energy Challenge, employees from Hawaii’s 10 Capitol District buildings will compete for the lowest energy usage in 2012. To help the effort, volunteers called “Green Champions” will help employees stay motivated to reduce energy use all year long. Track the program’s monthly progress at Hawaii.gov/green.
Save Thousands Per Year
A business that volunteers to turn off 50 kilowatts or more of electrical equipment when the grid experiences an unexpected spike in electricity use or a drop in generation can receive a bill credit of as much as $3,000 per year, whether or not the equipment is ever turned off.
How? Visit heco.com and click Business Services to learn more about Fast Demand Response (DR). Hawaiian Electric engineers will work with you to identify excess elevators, some lighting and other electric use that can safely be turned off temporarily. In a DR event, you will get an automatic or semi-automatic notice (you can still opt out at this point.) If a DR event is triggered, participants receive an added credit of 50 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity not used. A demand response plan for businesses with smaller electric demand is being prepared.
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