The more energy conscious amongst us are always on the lookout for new ways to save the power that we use on a day-to-day basis. It’s quite stunning the amount of energy we consume even when we’re apparently not doing anything and yet because we can’t see it, we simply let all that waste power continue to accumulate.
It’s only when the accounts department get in touch to ask why we have such a high electricity bill do we sit up and take notice of what’s going on and then we scramble around to find the causes.
One of the biggest problems is office equipment that is apparently set to the ‘off’ position but is actually consuming huge amounts of power whilst effectively doing nothing. The amount of power a TV used to consume in standby was highlighted all over the news when it was publicised that many consumer appliances take as much energy to run in standby as they do in use. But as we’ve moved to more energy efficient sets (indeed, LED sets now take a negligible amount of energy when in standby) we seem to have forgotten that there are still lots of appliances out there happily sucking up the planet’s resources.
Photocopiers are one such piece of equipment that has apparently been ignored by many companies; expect the manufacturers who cottoned on to this a long time ago. Copiers actually take a lot of energy to run because of their nature. They are essentially laser printers and they need to heat up elements in order to use powder onto paper. This is why the temperature inside a copier can get extremely high – if you’ve stood behind one that’s churning out thousands of copies you’ll understand this problem.
And then there’s the ‘warm up’ time that it takes to get going and this is where some manufacturers have tried to introduce potentially energy wasting features. By keeping the drum and internal components warm, they won’t need to warm up so much when they’re suddenly needed. In some offices this can be a boon – maybe they really need to get going straight away – but you have to ask yourself if the additional cost is actually worth it.
Most companies now realise that energy efficiency is absolutely key to getting new customers as they see the spiralling cost of fossil fuels affect everyone – especially large business. So, to try to be ahead of the game they are now developing and manufacturing far more energy efficient models that don’t have any wasteful features.
You may find you need to wait a bit longer for your copy, but surely that’s a price worth paying for a cooler planet and lower bills?