Printers & Copiers in the Office: Energy Consumption and Efficiency Tips

Printers and copiers are staples in most office environments, responsible for producing everything from internal memos to client proposals. While these devices are essential for smooth operations, they also contribute to energy consumption and operational costs. This blog post aims to shed light on the energy usage associated with printers and copiers, explore more energy-efficient alternatives, and offer practical advice for reducing energy costs.

How Much Energy Do Printers and Copiers Use?

A typical office printer can consume between 30 to 50 watts when idle and up to 500-600 watts when in use. Copiers may consume even more, ranging from 60 watts when idle to nearly 1,200 watts during operation (Carbon Trust, UK).

Quick Fact: If an office copier is left running continuously, it could cost upwards of £90 per year, assuming a rate of £0.15 per kWh and average energy usage.

Energy-Efficient Alternatives

ENERGY STAR Certified Printers and Copiers

Devices with the ENERGY STAR certification are designed to be energy-efficient. According to the European Commission, ENERGY STAR certified printers and copiers are up to 30% more energy-efficient than non-certified models.

Multi-Function Devices (MFDs)

Instead of having separate machines for printing, copying, and scanning, consider investing in multi-function devices. They generally consume less energy than multiple single-function devices.

Energy-saving tip: Look for MFDs that have power-saving modes and automatic shutdown features.

Tips for Reducing Energy Consumption

Use Duplex Printing

Most modern printers offer duplex (double-sided) printing. Utilizing this feature not only saves paper but also reduces the time the printer needs to run, thereby saving energy.

Set to Sleep Mode

Enable sleep mode on your printers and copiers so they automatically go into a low-power state when not in use.

Consolidate Devices

If your office has multiple printers and copiers, consider consolidating them into fewer, more efficient devices. This not only saves energy but also reduces maintenance costs.

Limit Print Jobs

Encourage your team to think before they print and to make use of digital files whenever possible. Fewer print jobs mean less energy consumed.

Regular Maintenance

Proper maintenance, such as cleaning and timely replacement of parts, can ensure that your printers and copiers run more efficiently, consuming less energy in the long run.


Printers and copiers, while essential for most offices, can also be significant energy consumers. By understanding how these devices contribute to your energy bills, you can take steps to make your office more energy-efficient. Opting for ENERGY STAR certified models, utilizing multi-function devices, and employing good energy practices can lead to substantial reductions in both energy consumption and operational costs. It’s a responsible choice for both your business and the planet.

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