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Simple ways to reduce your electricity, gas and water usage when starting out on your Green Journey

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How to get started?

When you are beginning your Green Journey it can be difficult to decide where to start and what to do first to reduce the energy usage in your business. The whole idea can feel a little overwhelming and you may feel the pressure to make big differences straight away especially as we are now seeing the true effects of climate change and increasing energy bills. It can also be difficult to know how to take your organisation on the journey with you not to mention understanding the time and financial implications.

The good news is, you don’t have to start big. There are many simple changes that can be made relatively quickly, many of which can also be adopted by staff at home. A lot of small changes will add up to make a big difference!

Here are a few of the small and simple changes that we have made over the years that can be made both in the office and at home to help reduce energy usage and help you get started on your Green Journey.

Electricity and Gas

  • Firstly do an audit of everything in the office that is electrical and plugged in and decide if it is still being used or needed. If it is not needed simply unplug it all together.
  • Turn off lights whenever you leave an office or a meeting room. Do not turn them on at all if the sun is shining and where possible change to LED bulbs.
  • Switch off your computer and monitors when you log off at lunchtime and when you leave for the night and try not to leave computer equipment on standby, leaving computer equipment on standby uses electricity (vampire power) and when you multiply the number of computers and monitors in just one office this can add up to a lot of wasted electricity usage.
  • Open windows when it is hot rather than using air conditioners. Only use air conditioners when you really have to and never with the windows open at the same time.
  • Reduce the temperature of thermostats by 1 or 2 degrees. Whilst this will not make a dramatic difference to your level of comfort, it will make a dramatic difference to your energy usage and heating costs will go down. Likewise reduce the temperature of the hot water.

Water

  • Make sure taps are being turned off after use.
  • Fit water saving devices to toilets to help reduce the amount of water being used.
  • Get leaks fixed quickly.
  • Use appliances on eco-settings to reduce the amount of water and electricity being used.

Other areas for review and changes to make

  • Check for draughts in windows and doors and replace, fix or seal where possible. Make this an ongoing process so that problems are picked up early.
  • Where possible keep radiators clear of desks and furniture to obtain the best heating efficiency.
  • Check to see if you have loft insulation, although there is a cost involved it can be a quick simple way to reduce heat loss and wasting electricity and gas in the winter months.

We have been promoting minimising our impact on the environment for more than 12 years. In that time, we have developed our environment policy; received our first iiE Green award in 2011; achieved Green accreditation in 2012 (we were the first legal firm to achieve this); were awarded the Great Green Star Award in 2014; and won the Overall Achiever Award in 2019.

Over the years we have developed many ways to reduce our usage of electricity, gas, water and we continue to look at the problems creatively. Many of the most effective changes we have made have been simple and introduced over time to become entrenched in the day to day routines of the business and staff.

More recently we have been going back to basics and using the advice given in this article. We have identified warm and cold areas of the office through area targeted monitoring of temperature and we have used this information to help us reduce the heating by two degrees overall. In the colder areas of the office, efficient 500w electric heaters are being provided and throughout the building, furniture has been moved away from radiators to help the heating run more efficient.

This has helped us achieve a reduction in our gas usage of 100kwh units compared with last year highlighting how simple strategies are helping us identify areas where we can make changes, reduce consumption and make a difference.

Our advice is to start positively but with simple changes that everyone can embrace. Small steps add up to big leaps forward!

Jason Mendrik, Marketing Executive and Green Champion


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Legal 500 Leading Firm Hunt & Coombs received Investors in the Environment Green accreditation again

Hunt & Coombs LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales, Registration no. OC320243, VAT no. 120013160. Hunt & Coombs LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with Registration no. 443035. A list of members is available at 35 Thorpe Road, Peterborough PE3 6AG.
© Hunt & Coombs Solicitors 2023.

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