Some tips to help you save power when you’re working from home or home schooling
Given the current environment where we need to work and school from home more often, here are some helpful tips to help you reduce both your energy use and the cost of your electricity bill.
Ten ways to save power when you’re working or schooling from home
1. Layer up
Before turning on the heater, layer up! This is the perfect opportunity to pull out your comfy hoody or bring a blanket to work. We recommend tucking in an extra t-shirt or putting a blanket over your knees.
2. Turn off the heating, or set the thermostat
If it still becomes too cold, we recommend setting your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees on cold days, this will keep your house at a comfortable temperature. If raising your setting above 20 degrees, your heating bill will increase by approximately 10 per cent per degree.
Also remember to switch the heater off when not in use or you’re not home.
3. Heat the room you are using
Heat only the room you are working in, this will help to keep both your energy use and bill down. Remember that it will be easier to heat a small study than your whole lounge space if you were trying to work from the couch.
4. Use energy-efficient light bulbs and lamps
Energy-efficient light bulbs, such as CFL or LEDs, both save power and last longer. If you don’t need bright lighting to do your work, try using a desk lamp to help reduce your energy bills.
5. Turn off your device
Ensure you turn your computer and any other device off! Whilst standby mode saves energy it is still drawing electricity. Turn off your devices and chargers at the plug to ensure power isn’t being used.
6. Embrace natural light
By simply opening your blinds or curtains and letting natural light in, will mean the less you need to rely on lights. Try to position yourself near a window, that way you can enjoy the outlook, get some fresh air and bask in the sunlight
7. Draught proof your home
Proof your windows and doors to keep the heat in. Air leakage accounts for 15-25% of winter heat loss in Australian Buildings. There are some great ‘do it yourself’ door stops online which you can make from home.
8. Use energy-saving equipment (where you can)
If you do need to purchase new office equipment try to seek energy saving options by comparing a products energy efficiency rating. If a product doesn’t have a ‘star’ rating, such as computers, be sure to check that it meets the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS)
Another tip for buying a computer, laptops can draw up to 80 per cent less energy than desktop computers and therefore could have five times the energy savings.
Remember to look for products that have no or low energy standby modes.
9. Do your homework
There are lots of tools to help you to shop around for the best energy deal. If you think you are paying too much check out the Victorian Government comparison website
Remember that most companies will now offer a ‘green’ option where you can purchase energy from a renewable source or power that is carbon offset.
Check in at tax time to see if your energy bills are tax deductible; your accountant will be able to help with this.
10. Invest in future energy savings
Whilst it can take some adjusting to get set up at home, by mastering online meetings and working comfortably from home now, you may just cut down on the need to travel for meetings in the future! Use this time to figure out what works for you and how to be productive at home, it’s also a great opportunity to do research into solar and battery storage for your home, check out Wyndham Solar Savers, a program that makes it easier and more affordable for residents to install a quality home solar system.