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Save on Office Energy Costs This Summer With This “Cool” Movement

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Summer temperatures are rising, air conditioning units are blasting, and energy costs are increasing. Looking for ways to cut back? Take a tip from Japan’s Cool Biz movement.

The Cool Biz program is an effort to raise awareness about energy conservation by limiting air conditioning use in the office. In a recent article on office temperatures and productivity, we featured the benefits of lowering air conditioning use to improve employee productivity and job satisfaction. Japan has taken that a step further by incorporating office temperature regulations into government office policy. The “Cool Biz” campaign was launched in 2005 by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE). The plan stated that government ministries had to set air conditioner temperatures to 28°C from June to September. The program also suggests switching off computers when they are not in use, shifting work hours to earlier mornings, and taking more summer vacation days than usual. This may seem extreme, but businesses that took part in the campaign shared impressive results.

Benefits of Cool Biz

Lower energy costs mean more savings for your business, and less impact on the environment. Limiting air conditioning use will also place less strain on your HVAC system; saving you even more. Employees will appreciate dressing down for the heat and they’ll enjoy the casual summer atmosphere at the office. Try implementing Cool Biz at your business and see how you benefit from the project.

How to Start Cool Biz at Your Office

You may not want to set temperatures to 28°C, but you could aim for 25°C. First start by observing staff at the office; are they dressing up for the air conditioner? This is a sign that you should probably lower your thermostat. The next step is to create a summer office dress code policy that allows for shorter sleeves, polo shirts, dress shorts, and sandals. Then ask staff about the overall feel of the air throughout the day. Is the office too cold in the morning and warm in the late afternoon? Consider purchasing a smart thermostat to regulate the temperature. Set the thermostat to limit air conditioning use overnight and have it kick in the afternoon when the office starts to get warmer.

Tips for Project Success

Make sure you promote the campaign and encourage staff to dress more casually for the summer weather. Give them updates on energy savings as well and host a staff party or lunch to launch and close the program. Your employees are likely to enjoy and support the program if they know you appreciate their efforts.

It’s also a good idea to get your existing thermostat checked for efficiency. It may not be running as effectively as it could be. Get a professional maintenance check-up to see if you need to make any adjustments before you launch your Cool Biz program.

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Dave Morrison is the General Manager at Intelligent Comfort Solutions. He has over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial HVAC maintenance, repair, installation, and indoor air quality improvement. He prides himself on finding the best HVAC solution for your business, and building a lasting relationship that your business can depend on. Dave is known for his open and honest communication and his friendly top notch customer service.

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