Why You Should Have An Energy Efficient Office

  February 12, 2024      Offices

When fitting out a new office, you’ve probably been given various options for energy efficiency. We’ve already written about how to create a sustainable office fit-out, but we didn’t touch on many of the reasons to have an energy efficient office in the first place. After all, some ways to gain more energy efficiency in an office or commercial property can be more expensive than the “standard” ways of doing things; it may be tempting to go with the less expensive and easier option.

Let’s explore some of the reasons why energy efficiency in an office is something you should pursue.

Energy Efficiency Reduces Overheads

Perhaps the biggest reason to pursue energy efficiency in an office is that it has the potential to reduce overheads, and not by just a little bit.

Lighting, HVAC systems, and office appliances and computer equipment cost money to run. Making these things consume less energy or simply using them less can make the costs of running an office a lot less. While the initial installation of some of the measures to make these things more efficient can be costly, this is a one off cost that will pay for itself over time and then continue to reduce costs once paid for.

Take your office HVAC system, for example. Very often heating and cooling systems that cost less to install cost more to run. This means that any initial savings are quickly lost, especially for a larger office space. Beyond offices, if you’re fitting out a facility with a cool room, the costs of running the cooling unit can be quite high.

This is similar when making the decision on whether or not to install solar panels at your office. Yes, the cost can be high, but these things are designed to pay for themselves and save money in the long term.

Reduced Maintenance Costs

Going beyond simple running costs, energy efficient office equipment can also often have reduced maintenance costs. This is because they do their job better and don’t need to be for as long or as hard.

Staying with the heating and cooling example, an inefficient HVAC system trying to regulate the temperature in an office that isn’t well insulated will be constantly running. A well built HVAC system being used in an office with ample insulation and smarter thermostats doesn’t need to run as much, prolonging the life of the unit.

Potential For More Employee Comfort

The office needs to be more than just a place for employees to go to get their work done. Comfortable employees are happier, more efficient, and have few absences. Comfort goes beyond giving people a decent chair with ample lighting in a room that isn’t too hot or too cold.

Employees are humans, and humans prefer natural light and fresh air over electric lighting and recycled air. Offices designed with energy efficiency in mind look for opportunities to create both these things. Bigger windows and natural ventilation can cost more money to install (even though it saves money over time), but they make the people actually using the office feel more comfortable.

This is, perhaps, one of the hidden cost benefits of energy efficient offices. The costs of lack of productivity and employees taking sick days due to employee discomfort is hard to quantify, but it’s easy to understand that it can be a factor.

Staying Ahead Of Government Regulations

It’s not uncommon for government regulations, especially for specific industries, to mandate energy or carbon reductions. This is usually most prevalent in manufacturing industries, and it’s often easy to look to factories to find energy reduction opportunities. However, energy reductions in the office can also be made to similar effect.

While it may not seem logical to retrofit an existing office to be more energy efficient if it doesn’t need to be, if you’re relocating your office and need to do a new fit-out anyway, it may be wise to make the new office as efficient as possible. That way you don’t need to do it after the fact should you have to.

Good Corporate Citizenship And Branding

Somewhat cynically, having an energy efficient office makes your brand look good. People like working with businesses that are doing the right thing, and looking after the environment is part of being a good corporate citizen.

While we believe being a good corporate citizen is important, ultimately the slightly higher upfront cost of making an office space more environmentally friendly saves money and makes workers perform better. Even if it wasn’t simply the thing to do, an office built with the environment in mind just makes sense.