Maxine Palmer, Director at Green Energy Switch, offers advice to save on your energy bills and cut your household carbon when you are working from home.
With the UK under lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are all spending a lot more time at home. All of those cups of coffee, plugged-in laptops and streamed TV shows are adding up to a bigger household energy footprint.
Thousands of people who wouldn’t normally work from home are now doing so. This means that instead of using the office’s heating and electricity, you’re using your own. Whether you’re looking to keep your bills to a minimum or to lessen your environmental impact, here are some suggestions for a greener home office life:
- Less travelling
OK, so this one isn’t a choice currently. But one positive about being at home is the reduction in both carbon emissions and air pollution because of the huge drop in car journeys. Instead, you could use your regular ‘commute’ time as the chance to go for a daily run, walk or cycle.
- Your workstation
If you’re making do with a DIY office, try to choose a spot with plenty of natural light so that you don’t need to have lights on all day. Turning down the brightness of your monitor uses less energy, and don’t charge your phone overnight – instead charge it while working by plugging it into your laptop.
The Energy Saving Trust recommends a household temperature range of 18-21ºC to maintain your health. If you tend to have the heating at the higher end of the scale, turning it down by just one degree saves energy and money. This is the time to make the most of your new work wardrobe of cosy jumpers, or dressing gowns and slippers!
- Coffee and tea breaks
Remember not to overfill your kettle, and instead only boil the amount of water you need for the number of drinks you are making at the time. Even if you drink a lot of hot drinks during the day, it’s still more energy efficient to boil what you need each time you make a drink rather than fill the kettle at the start of the day and boil too much water.
- Lunch break
Think about food waste, because at this time many of us are more aware of our food supplies. How can you make sure that you don’t waste what you’ve got? Can you use leftovers to make soups and stews or boil up vegetable peelings to make veg stock? Take a screen break for lunchtime, because spending time offline can help give your mind a rest – and don’t forget to switch your monitor off and close your laptop to save energy.
- Turn it all off
Finish the working day by closing down your computer and turning it off at the plug. Don’t leave it on standby all night. You could also try to get into this habit with other appliances, too.
- Check your gas and electric bill
Is your energy bill ready for renewal? Have you been meaning to switch your energy to see if you could reduce your gas and electricity bills? Well now you can go online at www.greenenergyswitch.co.uk for a comparison of the best green energy providers. There are no costs for the user in switching through the site, but any profits made by Green Energy Switch are gifted back to PECT to help fund our vital work.
Green Energy Switch is a profit-for-purpose energy management service, saving you time, money and effort. To speak to a member of the team, call 01733 646253.