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Topic planner: Office equipment awareness


This topic helps you….. “highlight energy wastage from office equipment use”

Use this information to highlight the importance of energy use by IT equipment and encourage people to stop wasting it.

Messages about IT equipment should direct people to where they can have a real influence. Messages should be placed in strategic positions, i.e. stickers on photocopiers, posters on doors/walls close to where the IT equipment is, so that people see these messages at opportune moments; also e-mail reminders.



Use these resources to help promote office equipment energy saving:

PosterStaff PresentationEmail RemindersEnergyFact TranslatorHome Energy Electricity Tips
Energy awareness posterPreparing the caseEmail remindersEnergy fact translatorcartoon image of a living room with furniture and energy efficient light bulbs
Readymade poster templates for running a campaign Presentation templates helping you build a great presentation to staff about saving energyA template for setting your campaign budget. Simply input your own figures. A selection of themed images you can use in presentations. Guides, information, tips and links on saving energy on electricity in the home

Did you know?

  • Office equipment and small power machines (PCs, monitors, fax machines, photocopiers, printers, vending machines and water coolers) account for around 15% of total office energy consumption. In an air conditioned office it can take half as much energy again to remove the heat generated by office equipment as it takes to run the equipment in the first place.
  • The typical electrical load of a desktop computer (monitor and system unit) while operating is 120W – 130W.  The Electrical load after power-saving equipment is activated is 20W – 30W.
  • The average computer uses 35.5 watts when on standby. Ave. ‘On’ mode = 82.2watts, Ave. ‘Passive standby’ = 35.5 watts [include image/graphic]. Therefore, the average computer uses 43% of its total energy on standby.
  • The average laptop uses 16.5 watts when on standby. Ave. ‘On mode’ = 34.1 watts, Ave. ‘Passive standby’= 16.5 watts. Therefore uses 48.4% of its total energy on standby.
  • Turning off your computer at night instead of leaving it on will save on average 25% of its annual energy bill.
  • While you are sleeping your office computer left on is using enough energy to make you 500 slices of toast for breakfast. Do you really need that much toast?
  • Setting computers to sleep mode can reduce electricity use by about 40% compared to leaving them on all the time.
  • Powering down computers can prolong their life due to reduced wear and tear on the machine.
  • A photocopier left switched on overnight wastes enough energy to copy Brahm Stoker’s novel ‘Dracula’ twice over.
  • 696 billion printed pages are wasted across Europe every year. [Source: “Green” Movement Reaches The Workplace. Lexmark]
  • European employees admit that 1 page out of 5 is printed for nothing. [Source: IPSOS/Lexmark European survey "The State of Printing in 2007" December 2007]
  • Nearly 2/3 of European employees say, if necessary, they could reduce printing output by 30%, while remaining productive. [Source: Lexmark data based on Lexmark Global Services' customer experiences]

Office equipment energy-saving tips at work


  • Find out the number of PCs / photocopiers / printers etc. – calculate how much energy they use.
  • Do a random survey to see how many PCs are left on overnight / weekend / holidays.
  • Use the information to run a Switch-off campaign.
  • But first check with your IT department if they can switch off or power-down networked computers centrally, when they are not in use. Numerous programmes are available for doing this.

All equipment

  • Turn off computers and other office equipment at night and at weekends, if not required.
  • Inform people which equipment can be safely switched off.
  • Identify equipment that can be switched off and equipment that must be left on, e.g. by means of Green dot and Red dot stickers.
  • Fit plug-in 7-day timers to equipment that is acceptable to turn off outside business hours.


  • Activate the Power Management feature on computers. You may need to check that networked computers are able to operate in sleep mode without interfering with the operation of the network.
  • Get people to switch off computersat the end of the day
  • If you’re not going to use your computer for a while switch off the screen.
  • Screen savers often increase energy consumption. Ensure that people are aware of this, and do not leave the screen on for long periods when not in use.
  • Portable or laptop computers use less energy than desktop computers. If available, encourage people to use Laptops instead of switching on desktop PCs.
  • Set the brightness level of your screen at an intermediate level.

Printing and photocopying

  • Set the sleep or power down mode on equipment and switch it off at the end of the day.
  • Use multifunction instead of stand-alone machines as these can use up to 50% less energy (source: Xerox).
  • Go digital! Send, receive, access and store documents electronically, wherever possible.
  • If paper copies are required, print and copydouble sided.
  • Set printers and photocopiers to print and copy double sided by default.
  • Usescrap paper to print whenever possible, because it takes 10 times more energy to manufacture a sheet of A4 paper than to print on to it.
  • Install a scrap paper tray in each office so that people can store their scrap paper.
  • If printing from the Internet, do a ‘Print preview’ first to ensure that you only print the information you need.
  • Encourage people to do photocopies in batches so that the copier does not spend more time than necessary switching between high power and sleep mode.
  • Scan your documents and send by e-mail instead of faxing.

Other small power

  • Try to avoid using portable electric heaters or fans. If they have to be used, ensure that they are switched off when not required.
  • Don’t leave equipment on standby. Unplug or turn off electrical equipment when not required, including mobile phone chargers.
  • Only boil the necessary amount of water for tea/coffee. Apart from taking ages to boil, a full kettle needs a great deal more energy, which is costly to the environment.
  • Lime scale is an insulator and will result in more energy being used to boil the water. Make sure that you descale your kettle regularly.
  • For non-perishable food, switch off office vending and cooling machines over weekends or periods during which the building is closed.

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