Saving energy at work

We should try to save energy wherever possible. No matter how small an action may seem, in an organisation as big as the HSE, it all adds up.

Tips for saving energy at work

Try some of these tips to save energy and bring positive changes to the work environment.

Keeping warm

  • Keep windows and doors closed when the heating is on.
  • Report areas that are too warm or too cold to the maintenance team.
  • Report any defective windows and doors.
  • Do not block radiators and heaters.
  • Dress appropriately for the temperature, avoiding the need for personal heating appliances.

Keeping cool

  • Keep windows and the entrance to the area closed when air conditioning is in operation.
  • Shut down air conditioning outside normal hours where possible.
  • Dress appropriately for the temperature, avoiding the need for personal cooling appliances.
  • Set the air conditioning to the required temperature.


  • Make the best use of daylight, it's free and more pleasant than artificial light.
  • Switch off lights when you are the last to leave an area.
  • Switch off lights in unoccupied rooms and corridors when safe to do so and at the end of the day.
  • Check for lights that can be turned off at night for a more restful environment for patients and to save energy.

Water use

  • Only boil the water you need.
  • Use eco mode on hot water boilers.
  • Make sure taps are turned off.
  • Report dripping taps, leaking pipes or broken toilets to the maintenance department.

Computers and IT

  • Turn off all non-essential equipment like computers, printers, photocopiers when not in use.
  • Set up automatic power-saving settings on your computer.
  • When taking a break from your computer, put it into sleep mode.

How to set up power saving on your computer

  1. Start menu
  2. Control panel
  3. Power options
  4. Power saver

How to put your computer into sleep mode

  1. Start menu
  2. Shut down
  3. Sleep

Printing and copying

  • Only print or photocopy when necessary.
  • Set your printer to print on both sides and in grey scale by default.
  • Use a central-office printer.
  • Keep photocopier lids closed.
  • Keep photocopiers on ‘eco mode’ and switch off at the end of the day.

Tips for saving energy in laboratories


  • Switch off all lab equipment after use.
  • Share lab equipment if practical.
  • Avoid having a single sample in each shaker, stirrer or centrifuge.
  • Ensure all new equipment has the best available energy rating.
  • Only run large equipment, such as dishwashers, when fully loaded.
  • Fit timers to drying ovens.

Fume cupboards

  • Shut the sash on fume cupboards whenever you walk away.
  • Turn fume cupboards off when not in use.
  • Do not use fume cupboards for storing chemicals.

Fridges and freezers

  • Declutter fridges and freezers and dispose of redundant samples.
  • Make sure temperature is not set colder than required.
  • Check if the number of standalone fridges and freezers can be reduced.
  • Where possible locate fridges and freezers away from sources of heat.

The HSE has 2 main energy efficiency programmes. These are Optimising Power at Work and the Estates Energy Bureau. These programmes work with staff to raise awareness about energy and to work with teams.


Room thermometer cards

Turning the heating down by 1°c can save energy and reduce heating costs by up to 8%.

Health service staff can request a free room thermometer cards by emailing:

Saving energy at work posters

Light relief (PDF, 395KB, 1 page)

Light relief poster 2 (PDF, 394KB, 1 page)

In hot water (PDF, 382KB, 1 page)

Hit the 2020 target (PDF, 389kb, 1 page)

Hit the 2020 target 2 (PDF, 389KB, 1 page)

On a power trip (PDF, 387KB, 1 page)

See the light (PDF, 373KB, 1 page)

You've got the power (PDF, 383KB, 1 page)

Onwards and upwards (PDF, 373KB, 1 page)

Energy efficiency in your department

Sustainability checklist for Wards (PDF, 106KB, 1 page)

Sustainability checklist for Laboratories (PDF, 107KB, 1 page)

Sustainability checklist for Offices (PDF, 99KB, 1 page)

Sustainability checklist for Green Meetings (PDF, 251KB, 1 page)

Sustainability checklist for Green Printing (PDF, 232KB, 1 page)

Energy Efficiency Tips for Offices (PDF, 215KB, 1 page)

Resource efficiency for community nursing units and nursing homes (PDF, 2.1MB, 20 pages)

Case studies

Green Advocate Network at CUH (PDF, 416KB, 3 pages)

New life for old lights at Cavan General Hospital (PDF, 884KB, 6 pages)

BMS at the Mater Private Hospital (PDF, 192KB, 4 pages)

Case study to share

Share your energy-efficiency case study with us.

Case studies can cover technical, management, design, awareness and other aspects of energy efficiency.

Email your case study to the National Health Sustainability Office:

SEAI case story template (Word doc, 901KB, 4 pages)

SEAI case story guidance (PDF, 3.46MB, 10 pages)