Believe it or not, it’s over 18 months since many of us packed up our things and said goodbye to the office. And while restrictions have now lifted, many of us continue working from home, or between the home and the office.
Last winter, it was estimated that energy bills could increase by up to 18% for those working from home. And with the increase to the energy price cap, home workers can expect to see another unwelcome hike in their bills.
With home working set to stay, and record wholesale energy prices showing no signs of abating yet, here’s 9 ways to save energy when working from home.
1. Switch off and unplug
Unplug your laptop, tablet and phone once fully charged, and unplug and shutdown your monitor and devices at the end of the day. According to the Energy Saving Trust you can save around £35 a year simply by switching things off standby.
2. Think about your heating
Turn down your room thermostat by just one degree to save around £55 a year. Just make sure it’s set to a comfortable temperature, around 18 to 21 degrees celsius. And don’t bother heating rooms that you won’t be using.
3. Choose a sunny spot
While it might be tempting to work from your bed, couch or kitchen table, it’s a good idea to set aside a dedicated place to work (and your back will thank you for using a supportive chair too). Choose a place that gets plenty of natural light, and make sure you keep the curtains open. You’ll want to block out any draughts too.
4. Avoid working longer hours
It can be harder to knock off when you’re working from home — there’s no train to catch or enticing invitations to the pub. But, it’s so important for your wellbeing to switch off, and it’ll help reduce your energy usage too. Bonus!
5. Get dressed
You wouldn’t wear pajamas in the office. Make sure you dress appropriately for the time of year, and keep a blanket or jumper close at hand for cooler moments.
6. Batch cook your lunches
Want to save time, money and the planet? Batch cook your lunches in advance and you’ll have a lovely home cooked meal to look forward to come 12pm. Then heat your lunch in the microwave instead of using a traditional electric or gas hob to maximise your energy savings.
7. Take an energy efficient tea break
Tea breaks are an essential part of the working day. But boiling up a full kettle each and every time is a waste of energy. Only fill the kettle with the water you’ll need for your cup of tea or coffee, and you’ll save around £6 a year. And if you need a steady stream of caffeine to make it through the morning, consider making a thermos.
8. Swap old bulbs for LED
As the days get shorter, even the brightest of desks might need a little extra illumination come five o’clock. If you haven’t already done so, swap out your old halogen bulbs for LED ones. Replacing a 50W halogen bulb with the equivalent LED could save you £75 over its lifetime.
9. Work away from home
With restrictions now lifting across the UK, get a change of scene and make the most of someone else's heating for a change! You might like to adopt a hybrid way of working, between the office and home, or choose to work from your favourite cafe — just remember to ask for permission and pay for the privilege!
Looking for more ways to reduce your energy bills this winter? Here’s 10 more ways to keep your energy bills down, reduce your carbon footprint, and stay warm and cosy in your home.