Energy efficiency: save planet, save money

Green business 2.jpgHow green is your office? Do you even know?Unless you’ve made a particularly concerted effort to soup up your enviro-credentials, I’ll wager that it’s not nearly as green as it could be.A new law to measure carbon dioxide emissions from the national estate has revealed that less than 1% of all buildings tested made it into the highest energy efficiency band. There were seven bands in total.Pretty rubbish, I think we can all agree.But whose responsibility is it to make sure office premises are green?It’s fairly unlikely that “Must be in energy efficiency band A” is going to be scribbled at the top or your priorities list when you’re searching for the perfect office space. (Unless, of course, you happen to be a environment-focused company, or you have personal dedication to making the world a less carbon dioxified place.)Should responsibility then fall to property developers? Or to government, who should implement more regulations? Should we abandon all non-green buildings entirely, leaving them like hollow concrete sentinels around our cities, driving fear and shame into our very hearts for being our former dirty industrial polluting selves?Hmm.Perhaps we should just start with the small steps. Get an eco-boiler. Make sure you’re insulated. Block draughts. Turn off all the computers at night and when not in use. Switch off the lights in the parts of the office you’re not using – the toilet, the hall, the meeting room.I know everyone always bangs on about saving the world these days, and of course that’s important, but what’ll probably concern you more is how much money these measures will save your business. The Government estimates that if the average family turned off lights, TVs and games consoles when not in use, they’d save £300 a year. Translate that into the number of computers your business uses, and you’ll realise it can be quite a saving.It’s not rocket science, but a gentle reminder never goes astray. And if you’re saving cash and the saving the planet at the same time, everyone’s a winner, aren’t they?(Incidentally, Parliament and the Bank of England both scored in the lowest band of energy efficiency. Just in case you’d missed the news that politicians and bankers are responsible for the world falling apart.)(Image: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at Flickr)

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