Skip to main content

Everybody has a different work-at-home style – and we’re not just talking about the “business-up-the-top for video conferencing” wardrobe choices you can make.

Whether you’re setting up from home for the first time from your spare room, or you’re a seasoned work-at-homer with a fully-equipped office, here are some tips to help you find ways you could reduce your energy consumption when you’re working from home.

Do a 60-second energy check before you start work

Before you get started on your work for the day, take a quick tour around each room of your home. Check you haven’t left anything on that you won’t need – such as ceiling fans, lights or heating or cooling in rooms you won’t be using while you work. Look for any devices or appliances sucking standby power and consider switching anything off that you won’t need until you finish work for the day.

Keep track of your lighting, heating and cooling

Try to limit your energy use to your home office or the space you’re working in by heating or cooling only that area. Close doors, curtains and blinds in your workspace and use draft stoppers if needed. It’s also a good idea to make the most of natural light and if lighting is required, switch it on only in the areas it’s needed. 

While tempting, try not to crank up the air con or heating in your work area, as your electricity costs can go up as much as 10% for every degree the thermostat goes up in winter or down in summer. Aim to make yourself comfortable, by setting the temperature no lower than 24C in summer and no higher than 21C in winter.

If it’s nice weather and you’re using a laptop, think about taking your work outside to your verandah or balcony to enjoy the free lighting and fresh air out there!

Make the most of solar

If you have solar panels, working from home could be a great opportunity to make the most of that renewable energy that they are producing.

Your panels will generally produce the most solar energy during the warmest part of the day, from approximately 10am to 2pm. The more solar power you can shift to use at this time of day, the less likely you’ll need to draw from the grid at other times, helping to save on your electricity costs and making the most of your solar investment.

You could pop a load of washing or dishwashing on when you stop for lunch, so your appliances can draw on your solar electricity supply.

Choose energy-efficient workmates

If you need to buy new appliances or devices to set up at home, or you’re upgrading your old ones, try to choose the most energy-efficient options. While these might cost more upfront, the more energy-efficient appliances (with a higher star-rating) will generally use less electricity than the less efficient options – so you could save on your energy use in the long term.

A power board could also help you manage your energy consumption when you’re working from home. Plug office equipment such as monitors, printers, chargers and lamps into an energy saving power board so you can easily switch it all off at the end of the day. 

Make meal times energy efficient

If you’re planning a hot lunch, consider using a microwave to heat it up, rather than your oven or stovetop. You could also put your slow-cooker to work by preparing dinner in the morning and slow cooking it during the day. Slow-cookers are versatile and can use less energy than a standard oven.

For more ideas about saving energy at home, check out our list of simple swaps you can make to help save energy in your home office.