Thanks to the bummer-of-the-year, COVID-19, many of us have been working from home for many months now or have recently been ordered back.
As temperatures drop and the days get shorter, this will no doubt mean spiralling energy bills. By some estimates, electricity bills will rise by at least 10 percent!
With personal finances under strain and a long winter ahead, our LED light specialists at Lumilum give top tips for lowering your energy bill while working from home…
Organize Your Workspace
If you aren’t alone working from home, setting up a shared office space will mean you use less electricity for lighting and will stay warmer without heating the whole house. If you need to take a call or jump on a video conference, temporarily move to another room.
Radiators are largely energy-efficient but it’s often the room layout that causes problems. Move any large pieces of furniture away from the radiator(s) to encourage the heat to disperse and make sure your radiators are bled. Keep the doors closed as much as possible too to retain the heat.
Be Clever With Your Heating
Check the temperature your boiler is set to for hot water. Even decreasing it by a few degrees could save up to 10 percent on your heating bill.
So that you only get the heat you need, put the boiler on a timer. You can also set your thermostat so that the boiler will kick in if the house gets too cold. The recommended workplace temperature is between 68°F - 76°F, the ideal temperature being 71.4°F
It may sound obvious, but dress for the weather even if you’re indoors. Wearing long sleeves, socks and layers will help you keep in body heat – something that’s easily lost when sitting still.
For a longer-term option, upgrade to an energy-efficient boiler (A-rated). This could save you around 19-20% over federal minimum.
Switch Off At the End of the Day
Working from home means more devices to be powered and charged.
When you’re not using a device, switch them off fully - phone chargers too. Even in sleep mode, devices use energy and lose charge. The simple change of unplugging can help save you money on electricity as well.
Consider low energy modes on laptops and desktop monitors. Economy modes help save energy by lowering the brightness and cutting back on performance, most of which aren’t usually needed day-to-day. Any LED strip lights on a dimmer can be turned off or put on a timer to fully dim to save energy.
Get The Right Lighting
As the days get shorter and darker, making sure your home office is lit well is vital for your eye health, productivity and general wellbeing.
Set up your workspace in a room with plenty of natural light to reduce your use of artificial lighting. Remove anything that’s blocking natural light and keep curtains and blinds open fully.
If natural lighting isn't possible, making the switch to energy-saving LED light bulbs or, even better, LED strip lights that use 75 percent less energy and last 25x longer can also keep your electricity bill under control.
Find a Better Deal
Work from home is most likely here to stay, so revisit your energy plan.
Many people settle for standard bill prices that are often the most expensive. Check you’re on the best available deal with your current supplier. If you are, and feel you’re still being overcharged, you can use a price comparison site to easily switch providers or use this as a bargaining chip to lower your current plan price.
Cut Back In The Kitchen
Often seen as the forgotten cost of working from home is how much energy you use in the kitchen.
If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, only boil the amount of water you need (it’ll be quicker too!), use the right size pots and pans to cook food faster and defrost your dinner the natural way during the day. Just like when you’re in the office, prepping lunch for the week ahead by batch cooking will save you time and energy.