Chapter 7 Overview

In a typical office building in the U.S., 9% of energy is used for office equipment.1 Waste heat from inefficient office machines can also increase a building’s cooling load, which adds to the energy requirements of the HVAC system. Potential to increase efficiency exists across office equipment, from PCs, to copiers and ending machines (see Table 7.1).

This chapter presents a combination of strategies for reducing the power draw of typical office equipment. These strategies include increasing the efficient use of existing equipment and purchasing more efficient equipment. A number of relatively simple solutions can be implemented to reduce power consumption of existing equipment. In many offices, even the simplest efficiency measures have not been taken. For example,
in a recent survey of large offices by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 59% of

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desktop PCs were left on at night. Of those computers, only 6% had power management settings activated to reduce their energy draw.2 Activating these power management settings is perhaps the easiest step that can be taken to reduce the energy draw of office equipment not in use. This can be accomplished (at least in part) by encouraging employees to enable power management settings on PCs, monitors, printers and copiers. For PCs and monitors, installing centralized power management software that can Automatically control individual power settings is a more comprehensive solution.

Because office equipment is typically replaced at shorter intervals than building systems like lighting and HVAC, further reductions in energy draw can be made though the purchase of more efficient equipment. The EPA’s Energy Star® program sets standards for efficiency in office equipment, providing a convenient way for groups prioritizing efficiency in purchasing criteria to identify more efficient equipment. Most
importantly, Energy Star® rated equipment often carries little to no price premium.

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