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  • Electricity Consumption Comparison for Small Business Equipment

    Each office has a variety of electronics and other equipment used day-in and day-out by employees. View the charts below to compare the electricity consumption of common office equipment. You'll notice some unlikely pieces of equipment paired against each other to show where office money is going and to provide insight into appliances that are using an unexpectedly large amount of electricity. 

    Usage Comparison #1: Laptop/Notebook PC vs. Laser Printer

    Equipment Wattage per hour
    Laptop/Notebook 25
    Laser Printer 250

    The laser printer uses the most electricity in this comparison. Even though individual computers are used more often than printers in most offices, laptop or notebook computers (and even full desktop computers) tend to be more energy efficient than printers. Office printers are rarely turned off and usually sit around all day in standby mode, continuing to use electricity throughout the day and night. So even though you may use your computer all day and your printer only a few times, the printer is costing you more.

    Source: U.S. Department of Energy 


    Usage Comparison #2: Laptop vs. Desktop Computer

    Equipment Wattage per hour
    Laptop/Notebook 25
    Desktop 75

    Because laptops and notebooks are more energy efficient and often have fewer attached components, the electricity consumption of a laptop is about two-thirds that of a larger desktop, which typically includes a tower and monitor setup.

    Source: CNET


    Usage Comparison #3: Fax Machine vs. Halogen Light Bulb

    Equipment Wattage per hour
    Fax Machine 65-150
    Halogen Light Bulb 300-5001

    A simple light bulb in this comparison uses much more electricity than the fax machine. Standard halogen bulbs give off a lot of light, so they require a higher wattage. Consider LED lights to reduce the wattage consumed by simple overhead lighting.

    Source: 1California Energy Commission 


    Usage Comparison #4: Traditional Coffee Maker vs. Single-Serve Coffee Maker

    Equipment Wattage per hour
    Automatic Drip Filter Coffee Maker 1200
    Single-Serve Coffee Maker 1500

    Instead of heating up to produce one large pot of coffee like a regular coffee maker, single-serve coffee brewers (like Keurig-brand brewers) need to heat up the water each time you hit the start button, which uses more electricity than a regular coffee pot. Many people may push that button in a day. Plus, a traditional coffee maker produces several cups of coffee while a single-serve coffee maker only produces one cup of coffee at a time, so if several people were to use the single-serve machine throughout the day, the wattage would add up quickly over a course of a year. If only a few people drink coffee in your workplace, a single-serve coffee brewer might work fine. But if more than five people drink coffee regularly, it may be in your best interest to continue using a traditional drip coffee maker. 

    Source: ENERGY STAR (PDF)


    Usage Comparison #5: Copier/Scanner vs. Water Cooler with Hot Water 

    Equipment Wattage per hour
    Copier/Scanner 1500
    Water Cooler with Hot Water 600

    A copier/scanner could be one of highest electricity users in the whole office simply because it remains plugged in all day in standby mode. It also most likely gets used often. The water cooler does stay plugged in all day, but the hot water may not be used as repetitively. Adding a hot water feature to your water cooler is not an energy efficiency misstep in the grand scheme. It doesn't even use as much energy as a coffee maker. 

    Source: U.S. Department of Energy 


    If you're interested in finding more wattage information for several different types of appliances, the U.S. Department of Energy has a great energy estimator located here: http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/estimating-appliance-and-home-electronic-energy-use.