Do all of your laboratory instruments need to be running 24/7?
Consider how many water baths, heating blocks, centrifuges, PCR machines, stirrers and ovens are actively consuming energy, night after night, weekend after weekend, in your lab. This energy adds up! So much so that there is an a long list of utilities across the United States that offer Plug Load Efficiency Utility Incentives.
Programmable outlet timers automatically turn off the electricity when it's not needed.
Luckily there is an easy, "set it and forget it" solution to this problem. According to the Sustainable Stanford Cardinal Green Labs Program, outlet timers can save up to 50% of equipment energy consumption. The Cardinal Green Labs Program provides free timers to their labs. Each type of equipment is tested with an energy meter reader for one week to determine how soon the energy savings will cover the cost of the outlet timer itself. Simple digital outlet timers and Advanced power strips are sold by lab supply companies. If you want to take it to the next level, you may want to investigate wireless energy meter and control technologies from companies such as Budderfly, Keewi or Modlet.
Please consider this simple strategy to match your energy usage to your actual laboratory equipment needs. You can find some examples of energy usage monitors and outlet timers in our open access database: Green Lab Supplies and Laboratory Equipment Guide.
Thank you for being labconscious!