Five power-saving printer tips

According to a report by the International Energy Agency, as much as seven per cent of all energy consumed by the commercial sector is used by office equipment such as printers, fax machines and copiers - and they continue to consume energy when they're sitting idle. Cut down on your energy bills by following the following five tips for power-saving printing.

1. Switch on, switch off!
Make sure your printing and image devices feature a low-power mode to cut consumption when not in use, and designate a person in your office as responsible for switching them off at the end of the day. In some cases, you may want to think about leaving devices switched off until they're needed.

To cut consumption still further, think about replacing existing imaging and printing device when they reach the end of their life with all-in-one 'multifunction printers' that incorporate printer, scanner and copier functions into a single device, reducing the total amount of power used when compared to three separate machines.

2. Instant on
Choose devices that feature 'instant on' technology, so that you're not left waiting around each time your device comes out of sleep mode. With quicker time to start-up , these devices consume less power - making it more likely that you'll switch them off when not in use.

3. Save paper
It takes roughly ten times as much energy to produce a piece of paper than it does to print on it, so cut your paper consumption where you can. Duplex printing requiers less energy than printing single-sided, so enable it where it's available. That way you'll also cut your paper bills by using both sides of every page. And while you're at it, think about the way you lay out documents to make the most efficient use of the page.

Take advantage of smart technologies that help you print out content from web sites and other sources efficiently, without wasting time and energy outputting blank sheets.

Also think about digital workflow, andidentify ways that you can avoid printing out hard copies of documents.

4. Print in Draft
Using your printer's Draft mode cuts print times and reduces the amount of power your printer consumes - as well as helping you to make some serious savings on the amount of ink or toner you use. Enable it for all internal correspondence, where presentation isn't a major issue.

5. Think carefully about colour
Colour pages can cost several times as much as mono ones, and require more time and energy to print - so make sure you take a careful approach to the use of colour in your business.

Use print management software that enables you to control which members of staff can use colour, and from what applications. This will help you to keep tabs on your energy costs, and limit the unauthorised use of company facilities.

This article was brought to you as part of THINQ's Business Printing Hub in association with HP.