Working from home takes some adjusting if you’re used to operating in an office, especially when it happens unexpectedly. Remote working can take a toll on your motivation levels and make it difficult to relax in the evenings if you don’t stick to a strict schedule. But it’s also worth considering the financial impact it can have.
Although this workstyle can reduce some expenses, such as not having to pay travel fees, your utility costs can climb rapidly. The increased electricity usage needed to complete your duties will fall onto your energy bill, instead of your employer’s. To minimise the damage done to your bank balance, you’ll need to develop some energy-saving habits.
If you’re usually an office worker, you probably keep your heating off during the day, but this will inevitably change while you’re working from home through winter. Most people anticipate this added cost through the colder months and set some money aside, but you can lower the charge, without having to compromise on heat.
Firstly, you need to check that the boiler is heating your home efficiently because if it isn’t, your energy bill will surge. An annual service will highlight any boiler repairs that need addressing or if the appliance has surpassed its prime and needs replacing. All newly fitted boilers are condensing and can achieve over 90% energy efficiency, which can save you £200 each year.
To discover which boiler is most suitable for your home, use the ‘find a boiler’ tool on BOXT to simplify the process. On top of this, the online service can arrange the installation on your behalf.
Once your boiler is running correctly, set timers for your central heating so you can monitor your usage better than if you used it sporadically, you can also save £60 yearly by lowering the thermostat by just one degree.
Smart thermostats allow you to heat specific zones of your home, so you aren’t heating the entire property while only using one room. This device can provide energy reports too so you can identify where you can make further savings.
When working from an office, you probably took the artificial lighting for granted. Having lights switched on all day, every day, can get expensive. To decrease your usage, open your curtains and work near a window to take advantage of the natural light.
If the natural light doesn’t brighten your workspace sufficiently, you can save around £40 per year by replacing all light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs. When you finish work, remember to turn the lights off to trim another £15 off your electricity bill.
It’s near impossible to work remotely without technology. Electrical equipment, including laptops, computers, mobile phones, and tablets, are often used to keep in contact with colleagues or to complete regular duties. However, you can lessen how much this increases your energy costs.
As laptops use 85% less electricity than PCs do over a year, you can save £17 per year by choosing this greener device. Try to use low energy modes to limit the laptop’s brightness and performance when appropriate, to lengthen the battery life of the device. When you do charge the laptop, avoid wasting power by turning the charger off after it reaches 100%.
It’s easy to work longer hours when working from home, with the commute time eliminated, but this will enhance your energy usage, so try to stick to your regular working schedule. When you’ve finished using the devices, don’t leave them on standby. Turning any equipment off at the plug can save another £35 off your annual energy bills.
Find a new energy provider
Switching energy suppliers is an easy way to lower this utility cost, yet many people don’t. Staying on the same tariff year-on-year could be costing you an extra £300 than if you changed providers. Looking at comparison sites is a quick way to find a better deal. Once you’ve contacted your new supplier, they will do the rest for you, without disrupting your energy.
Using your kitchen appliances more efficiently can make small savings, without making a big difference to your experience.
Most people use the kettle through the working day to make cups of tea or coffee, which would typically come off your employer’s electricity bill. When filling the kettle, ensure you only pour in the amount of water you need to save £6. Although this isn’t a huge saving, it’s an unnecessary and avoidable cost. Boiling a full kettle every time you only need enough for one cup wastes power.
You’re more likely to eat more hot meals for lunch with access to your kitchen every day. Try to use your microwave or hob as ovens use far more energy but if you need to use your stove, batch-cook at the beginning of the week.
Eating lunch at home each day also results in more washing up. Instead of letting the tap run, use a bowl to limit the amount of water wasted and save £25 yearly.
Becoming more energy-efficient is often associated with being time-consuming or unachievable, but there are plenty of simple ways to lower this utility cost. You don’t have to struggle in a freezing property, with no hot water or electricity to see a difference either. By following these energy-saving methods and eliminating wasteful habits, you can reduce your bills and maintain a comforting workspace.