Flexible work arrangements, remote workforces, working from home – whatever you choose to call this practice, it is on the rise. COVID-19 accelerated the volume of people working from home, and businesses shifted in the face of long-term closures and restrictions being put in place.
Working from home offers many benefits, including the freedom to choose your hours — in your pyjamas if you want. You can also save money on transportation costs and childcare expenses. Plus, you’ll have more time for yourself and your family. But it does mean skyrocketing electricity bills because you are spending more time at home and using appliances, lighting and heating and cooling.
We’ve compiled some of the best ways to conserve electricity when you work at home. You’ll find that these simple changes will help reduce your electric bill and make your day-to-day life more manageable.
Your household appliances make up about 30 per cent of your electricity use, which goes up when you are working from home. Some tips include:
Reduce standby power by switching off appliances when not using and unplugging them from the wall socket when they’re not being used for long periods.
Use the Energy Rating website to compare the running costs of appliances. You can find out how much it will cost you to run an appliance and its energy rating, so you know which one is best for your home. If you need to purchase new appliances, buy energy-efficient appliances. The Energy Rating Label shows you how efficient a particular appliance is.
Try to use natural sunlight as much as possible by opening up windows and blinds. Mirrors can be used to significant effect to reflect natural light into dark spaces. Try turning off lights when they are not needed or using low-energy LED bulbs instead of incandescent ones where appropriate. LED bulbs to use 80 per cent less electricity and will also last up to ten times longer. These simple changes can make a big difference.
Your bill may be higher because you use more energy during peak periods where the price per kWh is higher. Check your electricity bill; it should have three periods (with differing charges), including peak, off-peak and shoulder. When working from home, think about what household and business tasks can be done during different hours so that you can take advantage of lower rates when possible.
The Powerpal Smart Energy Monitor is the first of its kind. It’s a smart energy monitor that connects to your home’s electricity meter and tells you how much power you’re using in real-time, so you can make smarter decisions about when to use it.
It can help reduce your monthly bill by up to 20 per cent. It also enables you to understand how much power each of your appliances uses so you can make informed decisions about which ones are worth upgrading or replacing.
You’ll be able to see where and when there are spikes in usage, as well as identify any devices that might have a short circuit or other problem.