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Save Energy While Telecommuting
Published Friday, March 04, 2011 11:17 AM
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Increased telecommuting opportunities and home-based businesses have more South Carolinians regularly working from home. Although working out of your house has some distinct advantages, there can also be disadvantages, including an increase in energy usage. Learning how to operate your home office equipment more efficiently can help you decrease your energy bills.

“Whether you have a home-based business or are working from home for a day or two during the week, it’s important to be aware of what’s plugged in and what’s turned on,” said Zack Dusenbury, vice president of retail services. “By following a few simple guidelines, your home office can help you save energy and money.”


One easy way to save energy is to turn off the power when you’re not using your office equipment, starting with your computer. If you have a desktop computer, skip the screen saver and turn off your monitor when stepping away for a short period of time. You can also turn on your computer’s automatic sleep or energy-saving mode. When you’re going to be away from your computer for an extended time period, turn it off and unplug it to save energy.


Using power strips with your office equipment can save energy too, and investing in power strips is an inexpensive way to make unplugging many pieces of home office equipment more convenient. Plug your laptop or desktop computer, monitor, printer, scanner and mobile phone charger into a power strip and, after powering down your equipment, the power strip can easily be switched off to save energy.


The type of office equipment you own can also make a difference. According to the United States Department of Energy website, ENERGY STAR labeled office products use approximately half of the electricity as standard office equipment, and ENERGY STAR labeled computers in particular use 70 percent less electricity. Keep in mind, though, that ENERGY STAR labeled computers and monitors save energy only when the energy-management features are turned on. Also, when contemplating your next computer purchase, consider buying a laptop. Laptops use less energy than desktop computers.


Lastly, don’t forget to turn off the lights. When working in your home office, make sure the lights are off in other rooms of your home. Also, check the lights in your home office and throughout your entire home and replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). CFLs use significantly less energy than traditional bulbs.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer. The ultimate source of electricity for 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper is dedicated to being the state’s leading resource for improving the quality of life for the people of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.

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