Reviewing Electrical Usage in the Office

A typical office building spends one-third to one-half of their electrical budget on lighting. Lighting can be automated, either with a time delay system or occupancy-based sensors. But, that still leaves a huge number of electrical appliances which may or may not be in use. So, today, we’re going to look at some electrical appliances in the workplace which may be draining the budget. These items should be reviewed and reconsidered on a regular basis to make sure they’re still useful, relevant, and in good working order.


Computers, printers, and copiers

Many printers now shut themselves off when they aren’t in use. If you have one which doesn’t, you have to decide if it’s cheaper to replace it with a more modern unit or put it on a surge protector strip with an off switch. If you have wifi, you can also put it on a Smart plug with energy monitoring so you can control it from your phone.

If you haven’t already purchased equipment, consider Energy Star rated equipment. If you have equipment that employees tend to forget to shut off, a smart timer may be the answer, and you can control it from your cell phone.

Cordless phones

Cordless phones don’t need to be charged overnight. It only takes about an hour. Unlike cordless phones, cell phones which use the original cord will stop using electricity when they are fully charged. Many small businesses have transferred to cell phones for their business

Break room

Nice-to-have items can create an electrical usage impact. Coffee makers, vending machines, water coolers, refrigerators, and microwaves make employees breaks more comfortable, but make sure they reflect what your employees need. Younger workers will reach for fresh fruit or a power bar before they hit the vending machine.

Ethernet routers

Ethernet routers produce heat which tells you how big of a consumer they are. Memory and safety bonus to those who shut them off at night.

Don’t heat and cool rooms you don’t use: storage, etc., doesn’t need to be heated and cooled to the same degree as the rest of the office.

Eye on heating and cooling

If your air conditioner is old and in bad shape, Phoenix summers are going to brutalize your utility budget. At some point, it’s more cost efficient to replace an inefficient unit, but at the very least, have it serviced.


Programmable thermostat. “one degree in winter can cut your heating bill by up to 8%. If possible, open up the blinds or curtains on a sunny day and turn the heater off. In warmer months, setting your air conditioner's temperature just one degree higher than usual can reduce the power it uses by up to 10%. Positioning thermostats away from draughts and direct sunlight ensures they are accurate.”

Old lighting

As we said in the beginning, lighting is a costly part of an electric bill. Not only will LED light fixtures modernize your business, and raise the value of your property, but the cost can be amortized and they will save you in the long run on electrical costs. Any business that plans to stick around for awhile needs to consider LED fixtures. Talk to your electrician about it.

Zimmerman Electric is here to serve your residential and commercial electrical needs throughout the Phoenix Valley metro area. Call us today if you need electrical work performed 602-497-3365.