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Cutting carbon over Christmas

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Leaving your office equipment on over the festive break can result in a hefty bill. Here are six energy-saving and cost-cutting tips from the Carbon Trust:

1. Don’t heat unused space: Reduce heating over the festive holidays if staff are on leave. Lower the thermostat to a level which just provides frost protection.

2. Lights off: Turn off all Christmas lights and non-essential lighting out of hours and install timers. Lighting an average small office overnight wastes enough energy to heat water for 1,000 cups of coffee.

3. Switch off equipment when you’re not using it: Many offices close over Christmas. Always switch monitors off when not in use as they can account for almost half of a computer’s energy use. Failing to turn a single computer off overnight could cost around £50 per year. Photocopiers should also be turned off when the office is closed. In factories, make sure motors, pumps and air compressors are safely turned off.

4. Get insulated: Huge costs are generated by heating during winter and 25 per cent of a building’s heat will escape via an un-insulated roof. Roof insulation is inexpensive and easy to install.

5. Replace bulbs: Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs last eight times longer than tungsten and use 20-25 per cent of the energy.

6. Make your new year’s resolution a carbon management strategy: Depending on the size of your business, you could make dramatic carbon and cost savings with a carbon-management strategy. Heinz, for example, saved 17,600 tonnes of CO2 over four years through its programme. Check out the Carbon Trust for further advice.

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