Driven by a record rise in global energy prices, millions of UK households are seeing energy bills soar, with the average household energy bill rising to £1971 when paying by direct debit (April 2022). According to regulator Ofgem, wholesale prices have quadrupled in the past year and the energy price cap has increased by 54%. It means looking at how to save energy at home has become one of the priorities for many households.
When working from home, we can save money on commuting costs, on eating lunches out, even on expensive work wear. However, we find our home heating bills may rise with us being in the house all day. There are plenty of ways you can cut costs by find other ways to stay warm when working from home. There are also ways we can become more sustainable with our consumption.
These are a few other ways to save money and energy when you work from home.
Switch to LED
A simple way to reduce your energy bill is by using LED light bulbs. According to Which, LEDs use 90% less energy than the old incandescent bulbs and can last up to 30 years. Overall, switching to LED could save households up to 85% not only on their carbon footprint, but also their bills, according to SaveMoneyCutCarbon (SMCC).
Look at swapping out your ceiling lights and desk lamp bulbs to help save energy when you work from home.
The flask tip
This is one of our most popular energy saving tips. When you work from home, the tea or coffee break is a natural break in your day and a chance to stretch and have some screen-free time. You may find you’re boiling the kettle every couple of hours or more to make a cuppa.
However, over the year, boiling a kettle really adds to your energy bill and we often boil much more water than we need, therefore using more energy.
Instead of doing this, we recommend boiling the full kettle once in the morning, filling a thermos flask with the hot water and then making your hot drinks from the flask throughout the day. This saves you from boiling the kettle several times a day. Importantly, it can save energy when you work from home.
Energy efficient appliances
In the UK, many electrical appliances and light sources show an energy rating from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient.
This labelling helps make it easier for consumers to choose products that are going to save them more energy over time. According to The Energy Saving Trust, buying a TV with a C rating over an E rating saves 8kg CO a year. It can help individuals and businesses make more environmentally-friendly and conscious purchasing decisions.
Energy Star products are those certified by the US Department of Energy and use 10-50% less energy than a non-certified equivalent. It includes most electrical appliances and suggests models of computers and tablets that have the certification.
Check out our shop in The Homeworker Hub where you can find products such as Rug Buddy to help heat only the space you need.
Switch from Standby
Getting into the habit of switching off electrical items when you’re not using them is an effective way of saving energy at home. Many of us are used to leaving appliances such as TVs and computers in standby mode. By switching them off at the socket, the Energy Saving Trust estimate you can save around £55 a year on your energy bill.
Preventing heat loss
In this article we look at ways you can stay warm and keep costs down when you work at home. Some of the ways to cut your energy bills involve ensuring your home is draught-proof and losing as little heat as possible. Cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, and draught proofing can save energy at home and save you money in the longterm.
Some experts recommend placing foil behind your radiator to reflect the heat back into the house. This would be most effective behind radiators on external walls where heat could escape outside. You can buy specialist radiator foil sheets quite affordably.
Layering up, using hot water bottles and blankets are also simple ways to save energy when you work from home and easier to do than when in an office.
Individuals and businesses are going to bear the brunt of rising energy prices. Small businesses in particular may struggle as they are not covered by the energy price cap.
“Small businesses who find themselves struggling to pay their energy bills should contact their suppliers immediately. Your supplier may be able to work with you to find a suitable solution such as; a review of your payments or debt repayments, payment breaks or reductions, more time to pay or access to hardship funds,” suggest Alex Staker, from business energy comparison firm, Bionic.
“Some energy companies may offer small businesses energy-efficient schemes or grants. The eligibility criteria and availability will vary and depend on aspects such as; the size of your business, business sector and the location of your business.”
Breathing Space Scheme: This is a scheme to give households time to receive debt advice and find a solution to sort out their debt problems. Breathing space will last for 60 days as long as applicants remain eligible during which time all creditors who have been included will be informed and must stop any collection or enforcement activity. Once the breathing space ends, creditors will be able to collect the debt in the usual way. Call the National Debtline on Freephone 0808 808 4000 or visit www.nationaldebtline.org
The Citizens Advice consumer service can provide advice on how customers can resolve problems with their energy provider. You can contact Citizens Advice via webchat, or by calling 0808 223 1133. For complex or urgent cases, or if a person is in a vulnerable situation, they may then be referred onto the Extra Help Unit.