Save on IT: Office equipment

Office equipment is one of the fastest growing areas of energy use. Effective management can reduce your equipment energy consumption by up to 70%.


Running a business can be expensive and businesses often fail to account for energy costs when purchasing office equipment. All employees within a business can have an influence on reducing energy costs, helping to improve the long term security of the business – and doing their bit to combat climate change. There are often many simple changes you can make.


Here are our top seven no and low cost recommendations to help your company save energy on office equipment:


  1. Activate power saving features on your equipment: Ensure you reduce your ‘phantom’ power use.
  2. Turn it off: Equipment when plugged in/switched on still consumes energy. Switch off or unplug all equipment if fully charged or not in use and at the end of each day.
  3. Reduce printing: Use ‘print preview’ to reduce the number of printed drafts, consider double-page printing and print in batches, to reduce the ink warm up time.
  4. Save in the kitchen: Fill kettles only with the amount needed, switch the coffee machine off at the end of the day, keep fridge doors closed, wash up in batches or only run the dishwasher when it’s full to keep energy use in the kitchen to a minimum.
  5. Take care of your technology: Well-maintained equipment is more energy efficient. Taking care of your equipment will extend their lifespan, save maintenance costs and reduce risks of breakdown.
  6. Share your stuff: Do you need your own printer? Share desk printers with your colleagues to reduce the number of printers that are on at one time.
  7. Engage your colleagues: Share these tips with your colleagues to multiply your impact.

Additional Information

If you’re already doing everything you can to save energy on your office equipment, ask your manager to consider the following options to see even greater energy savings.

Implement a group switching off schedule

It is possible to schedule the switch off of several pieces of equipment at once by turning off their power supply. Fit a plug-in timer (these can be bought cheaply from most DIY stores) or an energy saving plug to PCs that automatically switch off peripherals when the PC is switched off. This can be done in the evening and at weekends so that nothing is left on unnecessarily, even if some staff members forget.

Staff engagement

Persuade your colleagues of the benefits of saving energy. Take it in turns to carry out walk arounds, set up energy checklists and attach stickers to equipment. Encourage managers to start a staff engagement campaign or competition which can include:

  • Measuring energy use
  • Ensure switches are clearly labelled
  • Post instructional posters on intranet and noticeboards
  • Take photos of displays & activity for websites and reports
  • Display results and best practice
  • Post banners on intranet and internal email
  • Put switch off stickers on equipment/switches
  • Display messages in stairways, shower rooms and changing rooms

Find out more on the Involve your staff advice page.


Tools and Resources

  • De Nederlandse klimaatcoalitie (Dutch)
    The platform provides insipration, tools, resources and networks in the field of climate-neutral
  • Hier opgewekt (Dutch)
    A platform to share knowledge and experiences on local energy production. Online knowledge files, offline interactive knowledge sessions.
  • Klimtaatgids (Dutch)
    101 tips on energy saving
  • MKB servicedesk (Dutch)
    Energy desk for SME's with practical information on saving energy.
  • MVO (Dutch)
    The Dutch version of the platform is more extensive. It is a platform that bundles information for comapnies to start saving energy. There is a step by step document. And relevant links to other initiatives are provided.
  • Duurzaam Bedrijfsleven (Dutch)
    Provides information on different sustainability aspects for companies and new initiatives in relation to sustainability. There is a seperate section on energy.
  • Duurzaam MKB
    Translates the growing demand for sustainability into practical tools and methods for SMEs, industry, government. Share practical experiences.
  • Milieu Centraal (Dutch)
    Tests and advice on how to save energy.
  • Energiecentrum (Dutch)
    Provides company specific information on how to reduce energy for SMEs. You start with filling in the calculator and based on the companies energy usage and the sector it provides advice.
  • ICTFOOTPRINT Self Assessment Tool for ICT Services (SAT-S)
    The SAT-S allows you to estimate the carbon and energy footprint of a digital service (that you use or provide) based on 1 year of use of the service assessed. This will help you make informed decisions about actions to improve your energy efficiency and eventually become greener in your ICT elements.
  • ICTFOOTPRINT Self Assessment Tool for Organisations (SAT-O)
    The SAT-O allows you to estimate the carbon and energy footprint of your ICT organisation or the IT department of your organisation, based on 1 year of activity. This will help you make informed decisions about actions to improve your energy efficiency and overall carbon emissions, either directly linked to the company activities or not (e.g. business travel and commuting of your staff).
  • Klimaatplein (Dutch)
    Companies can use this calculator to see what their carbon footprint is of their organisation. They have to calculate this for building and traveling. And they get advice how to reduce it.
  • Lumeco (Dutch)
    Companies can use this calculator to see how much money they can save by chagning their lighting
  • Milieu Barometer (Dutch)
    Tool to provide insights on the carbon footprint and environmental performance of a company, envrionmental costs, advice on how to improve the environmental performance. There are costs involved for using the tool.
Tip of the day
Consider installing a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioner.

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