Working from home the past year or more has brought many unexpected consequences. From a realisation that cats and video conferencing don’t work together to the wonder of taking meetings in your PJ bottoms, there has been much to experience. One consequence of our hours in the home has been an increase in our utility bills. While we can offset some of this additional cost against our tax bill, we also need to be conscious of how we might be wasting energy.
Here we offer eight ways that will help you cut back on your electricity costs into a future of working from home.
Switch energy supplier
The easiest way to save money on your electricity is to find the best tariff. Many of us sit on a standard rate tariff, believing that loyalty to a company pays. This is far from the truth in the energy market. More often than not, the best deals are offered to new customers, who choose to pay by direct debit and receive online bills. For instance, currently there is almost £200 between the cheapest and most expensive deal in Northern Ireland.
Switching providers has been made simple, and you will not even have to contact your current supplier. Each time you come out of a fixed term discount tariff with a company, you should consider swapping.
Replace light bulbs
The standard halogen light bulbs are soon to be defunct, as shops are told they cannot sell them anymore. They are bad for the environment, and they are also a strain on your electricity bills. Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are more expensive to buy in the first place, but they will last much longer and save you money on the purchase in the long run.
An LED bulb will save you about £2 on your energy bill, which doesn’t sound much until you count the number of bulbs in your house.
Install dimmer switches
As well as changing your lightbulbs, you can reduce the energy going into the lighting with dimmer switches. Dimmer switches restart every 120 seconds, but the human eye never knows. The modulation in every is saving you money the whole time.
Keeping the red light on your devices or closing the lid on your laptop costs you a small fortune every year. In fact, your gadgets could be costing you up to £35 a year to sit idle while they wait for you. As annoying as it is to go around your house and switch off the plug, it is better for your pocket and environment.
Choose the most energy-efficient appliances
If you are looking to make a significant saving, the optimum way is to choose new appliances. Depending on the model, the washing machine can vary in running speed from £15 and £63 a year. For a tumble dryer, the average running cost is £96 a year.
The best way to select your next washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher is using the energy-efficient label provided.
Use energy-efficient programs on your appliances
If your appliances are a drain on your bills, you might want to consider lowering the temperature or running energy efficient programs. Furthermore, if the weather is fine outside, it might be an idea to hang the washing out rather than using the tumble drying. Small behaviours like these can make a significant impact.
Use a smart meter
If you are in a location which uses smart meters, this can be a great way to save money. When smart meters were introduced, it was with a desire to send accurate data to utility companies. However, the bonus of a smart meter is its facility to help you gauge what drives up costs in your home. When installed, you are invited to take the meter around your home, switching items on and off and seeing the consequence. You will notice, for instance, a standard kettle will drive up the GW usage for the time it is boiling and, therefore, the effect of an energy-saving model.