Working from home? How to save money on your energy bills
25th April 2023
Many of us now know how working from home can become truly life-changing, letting you reclaim your time and finally discover what a work-life balance actually is. And it isn’t just time that you save, but, usually, money too, as you skip the steep commuting costs.
But with energy costs rising, and household bills piling up, do we really want to spend more time at home when our work pays to warm the office? “Free” heat is more important than ever.
Thankfully, there’s no need to think about commuting again, as there are plenty of ways you can save on your gas and energy bills during the working day, even if you’re at home 24/7. So, let's find out how to save money working from home.
Work with Natural Light
Set up your home office in a place that’s filled with natural light. Not only will it improve your mood and productivity, bringing in warm daylight on a cold winter’s day, but you won’t need any other lighting until the evening. That means no desk lamps or ambient lighting, just good old-fashioned sunlight.
Plus, one of many benefits is if you need a reminder to stop working at the end of the day for your work-life balance, the sun is the perfect solution.
Hunt for Those Pesky Draughts
One of the biggest energy inefficiencies most homes face is heat loss. In fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save as much as £60 per year in energy usage simply by draught-proofing your home. And the best part is that you don’t need some expensive, sausage-dog draught excluder to achieve these savings and avoid a blast of cold air (though Dachshund draught prevention is, of course, always welcome).
No, all you need is some old blankets or an old trouser leg stuffed with filling and sewn at the ends and you have yourself a makeshift excluder that will prevent the worst of heat loss through your doors and windows. This spot of DIY can also be a fun weekend activity for you and the kids, so there’s an added bonus to saving energy.
If it doesn’t make your space too gloomy, it’s also worth keeping curtains shut in unoccupied rooms, as this can further prevent heat loss and energy usage.
Unplug not standby
See that red dot in the corner of your eye? You’ve left your electrics on standby, as usual. We’re all guilty of it, wondering just how much energy something so small can actually save and then deciding it’s just too much hassle. Make this winter different, try unplugging anything you aren’t using (including your TV) and see if it shaves a few pounds off your bill. While you’re at it, shut down your laptop when you’re done with it, not only will it save power but it’ll help them perform better too.
Get Versatile With Your Water Usage
If you’re like us, then working from home requires an almost constant stream of hot drinks. But there’ll have likely also been times when you’ve filled the kettle with more water than you end up needing.
Rather than letting this go to waste, you can let it cool a little and use it to fill a washing basin, so when it gets to your lunch break or just after work, you have a ready-made basin ready to do those dishes. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous of energy-saving tips, but then making savings isn’t about glamour, it’s about what works.
If you’re looking to make more major changes, then changing energy suppliers is undoubtedly the biggest change you can make. It’s pretty likely that you haven’t changed energy suppliers in a while, and if you don’t even remember when, you’re probably overpaying right now.
Loyalty is rarely rewarded with energy companies, so you’ll want to regularly shop around to find the best deal for you – you never know how much you might save. And with so many comparison sites, it’s never been easier to truly find the best energy deal out there.
Turn Off at the Wall
You might not have realised it, but leaving plugs in at the wall with the switch turned on can still use electricity, even if the plus isn’t attached to, or charging anything. This small change will only save pennies per plug, but you know what they say – every little helps.
It really is one of the easiest changes in energy consumption you can make. You use the kettle, you make your coffee and then you turn off the kettle at the wall.
Simple acts. Simple savings.
Embrace Cold Showers
Now, this one might not win us any fans, but it’s a sure way to save on your energy bills. You’ve probably already heard of the advice to take shorter showers, and that’s true, and something we should all be looking to implement in our daily lives. What you might not have considered, though, is the idea of cold showers…
According to renowned Dutch motivational speaker, Wim Hof, taking cold showers better wakes your body up (which is great for getting us in a state of preparedness for work) and stimulates you to take deeper breaths, which in turn, can help calm our nerves and anxiety. Plus, what with it being so cold, you’re not going to want to hang around too long, so you’re achieving that shorter shower goal, too.
Turn the Heating Down
Hear us out, we’re definitely not suggesting you freeze. Try turning your thermostat down by just one degree. There’s a good chance you won’t even notice the difference of such a small change, but with the amount of time you have your heating on, that one degree can save you money in the long run.
You’ll also want to set timers on the thermostat so the heating isn’t constantly on – think about your home situation, does it need to be on all day and night long? A smart thermostat can be a great help with this. When the heating isn’t on, you can think about using hot water bottles or grabbing an extra layer to provide some additional warmth.
This one is simple and one of the first tips anyone will ever give you to reduce your carbon footprint. Just turn off the lights when you leave a room. It’s easy to do and only takes a split second, just like turning plugs off at the wall. You can even get the kids involved by turning it into a race to see who can turn out more lights around the house throughout the day.
You should also make sure you're using energy-saving light bulbs around the house.
Use the Cooler Seasons to Your Advantage
In the winter months, going outside can seem like the last thing you want to be doing. After all, you’re all tucked up and snug with your slippers on, why on earth would you want to brave that icy breeze outside? Well, because it might just save energy and cut down on your electricity bills.
If you use the tumble dryer religiously, then this is one of the easier ways to save. Tumble dryers have surprisingly high energy consumption, so opting to hang your clothes on a washing line or hanger outside on the season’s bright, cold and breezy days will save you some money. Even if you don’t hang them outside, placing them on an indoor hanger is still preferable to using that electricity-intensive tumble dryer.
Meal prepping isn’t just great for a healthy lifestyle, it can also help you save money on your energy bill. Batch cooking one big meal to eat over a few days will save much more energy than cooking every time you need something. As an added bonus, you’ll also save money on your food shop as ingredients are often cheaper when you buy in bulk.
Replace Your Boiler
Replacing your boiler is one of the best ways you can increase the energy efficiency of your home. Now, not everyone can afford to replace their boiler, especially after this year, but if you can, it’ll make a big difference. Older boilers are inefficient and result in higher energy bills, so upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient one will reduce your heating bills and mean you won’t have to upgrade again for years.
Speak to Your Work
If you work for someone else, it’s worth checking what you’re entitled to as an employee. It may be possible to request an allowance to cover any living expenses that have increased due to working from home, like your utility bills.
Working from home should be a money-saver, not a struggle. Hopefully, with just a few of these top tips, you should be able to save energy while working as soon as today, no matter how many times a week you work from home.
For peace of mind, we recommend you start tracking where and how much you would have spent if you had gone to the office. Include travel costs, what you’d spend on fancy, convenient lunches out and professional clothing. Once you start tracking this, you’ll likely notice that your savings on what you usually pay far outweigh the additional energy costs. Don’t worry, you’ve got this.