With many households currently forced to stay home due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, energy saving and reducing bills is important. Working from home and home-schooling can be stressful for some, so it’s important to make the environment as pleasant and comfortable as possible. With a surge in office chat groups, remote access and video calling software, for many working from home is likely to long outlive the pandemic.
You’ll save money by commuting less but, as we discussed in our working from home pros & cons article, you might see higher energy bills. The last thing on your mind should be whether you can afford to keep your home warm, so we’ve put together some tips to save energy when working from home and home-schooling.
5 Useful Energy Saving Tips
Our top 5 tips to save energy during this period include:
As smart heating specialists, reducing the amount you use on heating is our top tip and can save you the most on your household bills. Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, many people had their central heating programmes off during the day Monday to Friday, whilst most are at work and children at school. For many, this routine has changed and programmes have likely been adjusted too.
It’s important not to have your central heating running all day every day throughout your house when it’s not needed, as it’ll significantly increase your bills. A smart thermostat system like Wiser lets you heat just the rooms you’re using. If you’re spending the day working at your kitchen table, there’s no need to heat the living room (and vice versa). Also, since hot air rises, you can turn off the heating in upstairs bedrooms you aren’t using until later in the day.
If you’re building up a sweat in an online workout session in the morning, you might not want the heating on until the afternoon! Also, turning down the temperature to one you’re comfortable working at by just 1°C can typically save a household around £80 per year on average.
As with heating, whilst home working all day you’re likely to be using more lighting too. To save energy and reduce your bills, where possible try to minimise the amount of artificial light you’re using. It goes without saying you should try to only have lights on in rooms that you’re using. It’s important to have a well-lit workstation to reduce eyestrain, but by positioning yourself close to a window you can reduce the need for extra artificial lighting.
On a wider scale, replacing older and less efficient halogen bulbs with energy saving LED counterparts can further reduce the energy you use.
3. Dressing (not) to impress
With the office out-of-bounds and government recommendations to only leave the house if essential, dressing for comfort rather than style is the new norm. Keeping warm with layers, hoodies, joggers and slippers is not only comfortable, but can also mean that the heating doesn’t need to be turned on so often.
With less work clothing and no school uniforms to wash for most families, plus fewer reasons to go out, you’re likely to be using your washing machine less, already saving you money. Try also making use of your machine’s Eco mode (if it has one), washing at 30°C where possible, only washing when you have enough for a full load and using ‘fast wash’ rather than a full cycle to freshen up your casuals.
5. Batch cooking
When it comes to meal preparation, batch cooking is a great way to use less energy. Cooking larger batches or preparing several meals at the same time means using the oven less, as well as other appliances like food processors, steamers and slow cookers. Batches can be divided up and frozen for re-heating at a later date. It’s also a great way to use up surplus food and reduce waste, not only better for the environment, but by making your food go further you’ll need to shop less.
Updating Your Heating With Wiser
We hope our tips help you save money whilst working at home during the Coronavirus pandemic, and in the long term once our lives get back to some normality, as it’s likely to spark a new age of remote working. Feel inspired to manage your heating more intelligently? An upgrade to Wiser smart heating could pay for itself in just three years or less by saving you energy; find out more about Wiser and buy safely online from one of our trusted partners. Even as we enter the summer months, there are plenty of Reasons to Upgrade to Wiser Now!
You can also check out another of our tips articles, how to get a Better Night's Sleep, for more helpful advice.