Remember those mechanical lamp timers your parents used to make it look like you were home during the family vacation? Well they’re still around, and their digital cousins add some nice features that can be easily applied for some office applications. Do you really need your water cooled or heated in the water cooler 7 X 24? With a plug-in appliance timer, you can turn it off every night after everyone has left and turn it on an hour before people come in to make sure the water is chilled again. Have a coffee maker in the break room that’s accidentally left on all night – happens all the time. Hook it up to a timer so that it will automatically shut down in the evenings. If you have TVs or lamps in the lobby for customers, you can make sure you don’t forget to turn them off at night or before the weekend.
There are two types of plug-in timers: mechanical timers and digital timers. With mechanical timers, you set pins to control on and off periods and typically have 1 or 2 on/off cycles per day. Digital plug-in timers typically allow for more frequent on/off cycles, have battery backup, and can even allow for different settings for different days of the week. There are also 240 volt plug-in timers for larger window air conditioners or heaters. So you could set the air conditioner / heater to turn off when the office closes and turn on before you get to the office so that it’s a comfortable temperature when you arrive.
Use your imagination to think of devices in your office that are on every day but don’t need to be on at night, and you can probably use a timer for them to save energy!