With the coronavirus running rapid and the holiday season in full swing, many offices across the US have been left empty. An empty office doesn’t necessarily mean that the space isn’t consuming energy. Instead an empty office space often creates a phenomenon known as phantom load. Phantom load wastes energy and money, but can be avoided if company employees and decision makers are willing and able to make a few changes.
What is phantom load, and how much is it costing you?
Phantom load refers to the energy that electric appliances and devices waste while plugged in but not turned off. Many people are unaware that although their devices are turned off, they are still consuming energy. Phantom load can sometimes be unavoidable in cases where energy use needed to maintain healthy working environments in office spaces such as heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) units. Emergency lighting and elevators, and servers necessary for business being conducted from home or elsewhere are also unavoidable loads.
How much is phantom load costing you? The US Department of Energy reports that 20 percent of our electricity uses goes to phantom loads. Depending on your company’s electric use, this could add up to a significant sum. Leaving a single computer on at all time in sleep mode will cost over $87 each year. Multiply that amount by every computer in an office and you have a sizable annual fee that could have otherwise been avoided.
How to reduce phantom load
There are several ways a company can reduce phantom load within their office space(s). For starters, find out which appliances are consuming energy after office hours, and unplug them if they are not necessary for operations or safety codes.This includes turning off computers instead of keeping them in sleep modes. Turning off lights when not in use is also an easy way to reduce phantom load as lighting can account for 15 to 20 percent of energy use in a building. HVAC accounts for more than 33 percent of energy use in most buildings and isn’t quite as easy to manage. Saving energy allocated to HVAC units involves reducing run times, adjusting equipment sequencing and reducing static air pressure settings.
Another way to reduce energy loads is to invest in more efficient energy alternatives, such as renewable energy sources like solar power.
Interested in making your office space a more energy-efficient one?
If you are interested in creating a more energy-efficient facility see if you qualify for our free energy audit by clicking the button below. Our team of experts will assess your current energy systems and find ways to improve them and lower energy costs at no cost to your business. After an audit the EnergyLink team will present you with a project proposal designed to lower energy demand and increase efficiency with funding options available. If you would like to speak directly with a team member, dial (866) 218-0380.