Help Reduce Energy Use and Costs

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  • Leaving your office or work station area?  Turn off the lights when you can if you are leaving an area for more than a few minutes. (During non-emergencies, five minutes is recommended, to keep from reducing lamp life)
  • Use compact fluorescent lighting instead of incandescent lights wherever possible.
  • Turn off any incandescent lights when leaving areas for any period.
  • In areas with sufficient natural light, turn off lighting and adjust blinds, if available, to reduce any glare.
  • Use task lighting and turn off general lighting where it is feasible to maintain sufficient lighting levels for safety and productivity.
  • Turn off lighting in areas not regularly occupied, like conference or meeting rooms.
  • Turn off display and decorative lighting.
  • And remember to turn off the lights at the end of the day when you are leaving the office.  

Personal Computers, Office Equipment and Appliance Measures:

  • Turn off monitors and printers when not in use, and especially at the end of the day.
  • When purchasing new office equipment, look for items that have the Energy Star label
  • If available on equipment, ensure any Energy Star power-down features are activated.
  • If computers do not have Energy Star features available, turn them off when leaving the office for more than 30 minutes.
  • Ensure radios and personal appliances, such as coffee pots, electric heaters or fans, are turned off when not in use or not needed.
  • Try not to use copiers during peak demand (between 7:30 - 9:30 a.m., noon to 2:00 p.m., and 4:30 - 6:00 p.m). Turn off selected copiers. Ensure power saver switch on copiers is enabled.
  • Use shared printers and devices, rather than personal printers, etc

Heating/Air Conditioning Measures:

  • Wear appropriate attire to be more comfortable in the office and make temperatures more acceptable.
  • Ensure that books, files, plants, or other obstructions do not block ventilation grilles and fan coil units, especially along the window sills.   

Do you have any ideas on how employees can help make federal buildings more energy efficient?  If so, send your suggestion in an email to

Last Reviewed 2015-02-17