Saving energy – we are taking up the challenge! Tips for daily office life
The energy crisis affects us all and we all have to contribute to saving energy by being very conscious about how we use electricity and heating energy. Not only are resources becoming scarce, but it also costs money and is better for the environment. TU Braunschweig has therefore set itself the goal of saving 20 %. We spoke to Jacqueline Breustedt from the President’s Office about how she can save energy at her workplace. She doesn’t have any research equipment that she can optimise. But she has found some potential savings in her office.
Ceiling light or desk lamp? As a rule, desk lamps consume less energy – after all, they only have to illuminate the workplace and not the entire room. I have now got used to using the desk lamp almost exclusively.
Computer and notebook
My laptop is administered by the GITZ, as in the entire central administration. The energy-saving options are already preset to a good level. But when I take a closer look at the options, there are many ways to use even less power with the notebook – the rule here is: Every little bit helps. In fact, it only saves energy on OLED screens when the “dark mode” is set, i.e. on the tablet or mobile phone if necessary. But if I go into a long appointment, I immediately put the laptop into sleep or energy-saving mode, for me this is the key combination <Fn + End> (there is a crescent moon depicted). During video conferences, I now do without the video more often, which is also more energy-saving. I can also manually switch off Bluetooth and, if necessary, WiFi.
That was indeed difficult for me: to do without the second monitor. But hand on heart, it’s not really necessary for all tasks. That’s why I simply switch it off. And if I reduce the screen brightness a little, I save a few watts again. Instead of a screen saver, the display goes off. That is much more economical.
It is the most important thing: the heating. The savings potential is particularly large here. With the thermostat, I can clearly help to reduce heating energy consumption. That’s why I have resolved to do this: When I come into the office, I only set the thermostat to between 2 and 3. When I leave the office at the end of the day, I set it back to level 1 or lower. In fact, I have to try out whether the office comes back to temperature sufficiently quickly the next working day – unfortunately, there is no patent remedy. The best way to check the temperature is with your own thermometer: The basic temperature during the day should be 19 degrees Celsius. Because there will be less heating in the hallway, I make sure the doors are closed. The windows are not tilted: short bursts of ventilation were already the rule in our house. For the daily routine, I have already put a reminder on the inside of the office door.
Due to the later start of the heating season, it may get cooler in the last weeks of September. After all, it has been announced that noticeable restrictions are to be expected. I therefore prepare myself with appropriate clothing. We also look in the team whether we can perhaps sit in the office with several colleagues. If it gets too cold for a long time, the building management checks whether the heating has to be turned on earlier.
Dishwasher, fridge & Co.
The office kitchen is a special place that is important for exchange and contact with colleagues. But I can also save energy here. How about reducing the power of the fridge by two levels or switching it off completely? And right in front of me hangs a small hot water boiler. I don’t use it any more, I wash my hands with cold water. We only turn on the dishwasher when it’s full.
Switchable socket/toggle switch
I know this from home: a power strip provides valuable services – one flip and everything is off. This not only saves standby power from several devices, but is also safe. My tip: Switchable sockets are currently available centrally for the administration. Every Tuesday and Thursday between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m., these can be collected from the electrical workshop in the basement of Spielmannstraße 11a without prior appointment.
Clothing suitable for the temperature
Bringing a fan heater is of course out of the question if we also want to save electricity – even and especially on the really cold days. Better: a cosy blanket for the legs and a fleece jacket! Maybe I’ll even bring along wrist warmers and cuffs for the really cold days – knitting is back in! That sounds fun now, when it’s still warm, but in January at the latest it will definitely be more unpleasant, especially in the morning when my office is still unheated. But if we stick together, I know we can do it.
Your ideas & tips
Also send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
All information about the measures, tips and ideas are collected at https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/en/energiesparen