Many people dream of leaving the daily nine-to-five behind and starting a business from home. Good food in the fridge, washing machine rumbling in the background and a daily commute that is limited to going from your bed to your desk! Having the freedom to set your own agenda and create your own working space is very attractive to most of us.
Working from home may also seem like a smart financial move – costly travel is a thing of the past, you’re not buying lunch every day at an artisan sandwich shop, and you don’t need to turn up in smart work clothes on the days it’s just you and the cat in the office.
But beware home worker – other costs can creep up. You’re now the one paying electricity prices every time the kettle, heating or lights are switched on. Then there’s the cold winter months to think about – with no employer paying for your office to stay toasty warm, it’s going to be you picking up the bill when it’s chilly.
Never fear, whether you’re a freelancer or a startup entrepreneur with a small team of employees joining you at your kitchen table, you can save on your electricity costs with our top ten tips for cutting back on your electricity when you work at home:
1. Remember to switch off all of your electrical equipment when you take a break or finish for the day.
2. Now that you’re spending more time at home, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your home is well-insulated. Minimise heat loss around doors, windows and pipes and keep windows closed in cold weather.
3. Keep your thermostat set as low as possible in winter – reducing the temperature by just 1ºC can cut your heating bills by 10%.
4. Mark out the boundaries of your home office and reduce heating in the areas that you don’t use during the day. There’s no point heating your bedroom all day long if you won’t be using it.
5. Don’t forget the money-saving benefits of an extra jumper!
6. Don’t fill the kettle up every time you boil it – boiling just enough for one cup can make a big difference.
7. Use energy-saving light bulbs – they may be a bit more expensive initially, but they will save you money over time.
8. On the odd occasion when the sun shows its face, make use of the natural light wherever possible.
9. Ensure that equipment purchased has USEPA (Energy Star) standard or an equivalent. If your computer does have this facility, make sure it’s activated.
10. Don’t leave any office equipment on overnight. Avoid leaving any electrical equipment in ‘stand by’ mode. It will still use energy so switch it off instead.