Saving Energy & Money While Working at Home

Monday, January 13, 2020

Now more than ever, companies are allowing increased flexibility when it comes to employees’ schedules, as millennials are more interested in becoming entrepreneurs and working from home than at a 9-5 office job as well. Although one advantage of working from home is saving on gas and time spent commuting, you also increase your own energy costs. Depending on your business you will most likely be using your internet, printer, laptop and any other equipment to keep on top of your work, ultimately contributing to a higher energy bill at the end of every month. Saving energy while working at home doesn’t have to mean you end up freezing in the dark just to save a few bucks. Incorporating even a few of these tips a day can make a bigger difference than you may realize. The more energy-saving tips you can tackle, while remaining comfortable in your own home, the greater your chances of saving energy.

Rely on Natural Lighting
It can be as simple as opening the blinds instead of turning on all the lights when you start your day. The natural daylighting is great for working and may even boost your mood and productivity. If you have a home office arrange it in the brightest room ideally by the windows so you can capitalize on the natural light pouring in throughout the day. Not all spaces are created equal, so if you need additional lighting, just remember to turn them off when you are not actively using them. Letting the sun in will also help bring up the core house temperature so you can rely less on heating further saving on your energy bill.

Pro tip: Placing lighting in a corner allows the adjoining walls to magnify the light across the office, meaning you benefit with more light while using fewer bulbs.

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Use SmartPower
When working at home you are most likely using a desktop computer or laptop, as well as other supporting electronics like monitors charger printers and internet modems. Using Smart power strips can help prevent all these devices from drawing power when they are not being used. Using power management software and sleep settings on your computer are other ways to reduce the average amount of energy consumed. These features can save you up to $30 a year on electricity bills.

Replace Equipment
Presumably, you already have a setup in place that meets your home office needs. If you don’t or if you are considering upgrading any home office equipment, buy Smart. Replace cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors with flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD). Reduce your lighting costs even more by replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs.

Turn Down the Heat
Grab a blanket or a warm sweater if you run cold, and try lowering your thermostat by 10°-15° for 8 hours. You could end up saving 5%-15% each year heating bill with this alone. Additionally, try turning down the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F, as you could save anywhere from $12-$30 for every 10ºF you reduce the temperature. Installing a programmable or smart thermostat can help you regulate your heating and cooling systems more efficiently and result in even lower utility bills.

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Work Away From Home
It may sound counter-intuitive to work from home, so you can choose to work away from the house occasionally or all the time. It’s a perfect opportunity for a change in scenery and a reduction of energy usage at home. Coffee shops are one of the most popular work from home destinations as you get free wifi, electricity and ideally a warm inviting environment.

Unplug and Turn Off
It may be the simplest tip, but it’s one of the easiest to forget. Breaking habits can take some time. When you enter the room, it’s common sense to reach for the light switch, but if you’re grabbing something or just in a hurry you may not think twice about leaving the light on. Make it a habit on a quick break to walk through the house and unplug unused chargers (which can continually draw power even when not charging your devices) and turn off forgotten lights. It’s easy to do when running out for errands or lunch, but leaving the lights on when no one is home is an unnecessary drain on your electricity and ultimately your pocketbook.

These days, so many people work from home at least once a week or more. Being more mindful of how you use your energy during that time benefits you and your environment. Each of these little tips can add up to making a big difference at the end of the year.

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