When we turn on the lights, use our computers, or leave a cell phone charger plugged in, we use electricity, which emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). At the County of Ventura, we have taken a system-wide approach to reducing our GHG emissions in order to reach our goal of cutting our carbon footprint by 15 percent by 2020. From installing solar photovoltaic systems to implementing lighting upgrades, we've launched a series of energy-saving projects. But we also need your help. Offices and homes can save anywhere from 5 to 20 percent on utility bills by making a few small changes. Below are some ideas for getting started.
Just Unplug It!
Be a vampire slayer! When left plugged in, our electronic gadgets and basic appliances still use what's called phantom or vampire energy even when they are
turned off or in sleep mode. A plugged-in cell phone charger sucks energy even when it's not charging your phone.
Turn off your computer monitor; unplug your cell phone charger; switch off the printer. Together, these small actions can add up to meaningful energy savings (estimates range from 5 to 10 percent).
Use an LED Task Light
Shine a little light—an LED task light, that is. When it comes time to switch your conventional task light, consider replacing it with a high-performance
LED light. Why LED? Simple—it uses less electrical energy, which means less greenhouse gas emissions. LED technology produces light in a whole new way,
surpassing the quality and efficiency of existing lighting technologies, such as fluorescent and incandescent.
Your procurement contact can purchase Herman Miller LED lights from Tri-County Office.
Buy ENERGY STAR and EPEAT
When it comes time to buy new appliances or computers for the office, remind procurement to buy a device with the ENERGY STAR® or EPEAT® label. ENERGY STAR is a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products. Appliances, computers, and lighting with the ENERGY STAR label generally use 20 to 30 percent less energy than required by federal standards. EPEAT is a comprehensive environmental rating that helps identify greener computers and other electronic equipment. Buying these green labels is an easy way to reduce energy use.
Put Your Monitor to Sleep
If your computer is not connected to the Verdiem power management system, configure its sleep feature to automatically power down when you're away from the computer (look for "Power Options" in the Control Panel). This sleep mode still uses some energy, so at the end of the day, or if you'll be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes, turn off the monitor.