Office equipment is one of the fastest-growing electricity uses in commercial buildings in the United States. It directly consumes 7% of total commercial electric energy, which translates into $1.8 billion in electricity costs to businesses. Furthermore, energy consumption due to office equipment and related energy systems is expected to continue to rise. By choosing energy-efficient equipment, purchasers can save a substantial amount on their office equipment electricity bill. While less than a decade ago it was difficult to compare office equipment on energy performance, today the ENERGY STAR label makes it easy for purchasers to distinguish energy-efficient office products. The ENERGY STAR program is incorporating standby energy into its ratings. Standby energy in office equipment represents a significant hidden energy cost.
In addition to improved technology in office equipment, opportunities exist in behavioral approaches to energy efficiency. For example, computer power modes can be configured (by hand, or automatically via software) to increase efficiency.