As offices are shutting down and employees are transitioning to remote work, there are many ways to maximize energy-saving potential.
Before you leave your work-space…
Follow these best practices at the office for spaces that will be unoccupied for an extended period of time. Coordinate with your office mates to make sure that the last one out does a final check!
- Turn off all lights;
- Turn off copiers, printers, computers, screens, televisions, and other office equipment and appliances; unplug appliances that have lights or fans on after turning off;
- If you have appliances plugged into a power strip, simply turn off the switch;
Turn thermostat down – we are still in heating mode. Lowering the temperature will save energy.
- Close and lock all windows (this creates a better seal to keep drafts out!);
- Lower all window treatments, close blinds;
- Be sure to follow any office or lab protocols for turning off equipment (or leaving it on if needed)!
Working from home will result in an increase of your daytime energy use. Minimize the impact with tips from the recently published “Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Living Guide“, which provides easy, low tech and no tech strategies for improving energy efficiency and decreasing energy use. The guide includes tips to minimize energy use by making small adjustments to your windows, fans, thermostats, lights, bathroom and kitchen appliances, as well as how to evaluate the life cycle of household products, such as cleaning solutions.
While the prospect of being hunkered down at home for multiple weeks in a row can feel daunting, it may also be a good opportunity to develop a priority list and a plan of action for energy-saving home projects ahead of summer. Your list could include swapping out light bulbs to LEDs, installing low-flow shower fixtures, installing programmable thermostats, paying attention to cold and hot spots to identify opportunities to seal cracks and gaps around windows/doors and opportunities to add insulation to crawl spaces and attics, upgrading heating and cooling equipment, installing a heat pump hot water heater, replacing air filters, and more! The Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois online stores are great resources for discounted items that can be shipped directly to your home.