The COVID-19 outbreak has forced unprecedented numbers of people to work remotely. The government is urging people to work from home where possible and there is currently no end date to the restrictions. Working remotely has several great benefits, including no commuting costs and greater flexibility over your work schedule. However, there are also some drawbacks, one of which is that your utility bills will be higher. You will use more energy while working from home, but there are plenty of ways to cut your energy costs and reduce carbon emissions, without sacrificing your comfort. With that in mind, here are our top tips to save energy while working from home.
Make your home more energy-efficient
One of the easiest ways to save energy at home is by taking steps to make your home more energy-efficient. Increasing the energy performance of your home will reduce the need for artificial heating, which in turn will cut the cost of your energy bills. If you are unsure how to make your home more energy-efficient, then it may be worth having a new domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An accredited assessor will visit your home and assess the energy performance of your property. They will also provide recommendations on how to boost the energy efficiency of your home, i.e., by installing extra insulation or upgrading your heating system. Having an up to date EPC can be an excellent way to make your home more energy-efficient, save money on utility bills and reduce environmental harm.
Unplug electronics when not in use
When you work from home, it can be easy to forget to turn electronics off when they are not in use. However, this can lead to huge amounts of wasted energy, which is bad for the environment and your bank account! Avoid wasted energy by always turning electronics like laptops and computers off whenever you are not using them. Remember to unplug electronics from the wall when not in use. If you leave electronics plugged in, then they will continue to use energy even when they are not in use; this is known as standby energy loss. Plugged-in but not used devices can cost homeowners over £120 per year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. So, make an effort to unplug electronic devices whenever they are not being used. This is a super simple way to save money and reduce carbon emissions.
Turn your thermostat down
You will likely need to use your heating more when you’re working from home, especially during the colder months. However, turning your thermostat down slightly can save you significant amounts of money on your energy bills. In fact, reducing your thermostat by just 1°C could cut your heating bill by up to 10%, according to Ovo Energy. Keep your home at a comfortable working temperature (between 16°C and 24°C) but try to avoid using your heating unnecessarily. Try putting extra layers of clothing on or grabbing a blanket when you feel cold, instead of just turning the heating straight up. You should also consider installing a smart thermostat to manage your home heating. Having a smart thermostat will make it easier to monitor your energy usage and heating costs and encourage you to use less energy at home.
Take advantage of sunlight
Having multiple lights on all day can use significant amounts of energy and increase your monthly energy bills. Try to avoid switching lights on during the day by taking advantage of natural sunlight. Work in the brightest room of your home and position your desk next to an open window. You should also remove any obstructions like plant pots or photo frames to maximise the amount of natural light in your work environment. Keeping your blinds or curtains open during the day will also help to warm your home using the sun’s light. Remember to close blinds and curtains in the evenings to help insulate your home and prevent heat from escaping. You should also consider replacing any traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs. These use far less energy and also need replacing less often, meaning you’ll save even more money in the long run.
For many of us, working from home has become the new norm. Working remotely offers some great benefits, but you’re likely to spend more on energy and utility bills. Fortunately, some simple changes to your daily habits can significantly lower your energy usage. Try the above tips to slash your energy bills, save money and reduce your carbon footprint while working from home.