Green power sources are more accessible than ever, making it increasingly easy for a business of any size to make this switch. Almost every electricity supplier offers green energy plans which are priced very competitively compared to traditional electricity plans powered by coal or natural gas. Other easy changes can also be made:
- LED lighting is more energy efficient, capable of producing a large amount of light at a low wattage. They are also more affordable, with lower costs in the long run than regular fluorescent bulbs. On average, UK homeowners save £240 per year by replacing traditional bulbs with LED lighting. Not only are they more efficient, but they also do not contain any toxic chemicals, making them a more environmentally friendly option.
- Introducing a strict ‘everything off at night’ rule or fitting rooms with automatic lighting (automatically turn off when there is no movement) can be easy ways to reduce electricity use.
- Computers should always be put on sleep mode or turned off when not in use – use smart power strips to reduce ‘vampire loads’; they detect when a device is turned off and stop the flow of electricity when it’s still plugged in.
- Having no unnecessary lighting (inside and outside) can significantly reduce electrical use.
- Turn all lights off out of working hours.
- Energy Star is a fairly recognizable certification symbol for appliances, lightbulbs, electronics and other similar products, but you can also earn Energy Star certification for buildings or plants. Look into this to improve your green status regarding energy use. It is a certification set up by the EPA, and they provide a free online tool that can be used to measure energy use and emissions. Scores are given between 1 and 100, and those that get a score of over 75 are eligible to apply for certification.
- Look into becoming LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). It is a green building certification program used worldwide, and the program was developed by a non-profit US company and has since grown. There are two different levels: the LEED Green Associate program and the LEED AP.