Your work-at-home guide to saving energy
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 to save energy.
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 not to crank up the air con or heating in your work area, as your electricity costs can go up 10% for every degree the thermostat goes up in winter or down in summer. Aim to make yourself comfortable at 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 at home, working from home could be a great opportunity to make the most of that renewable energy.
Your panels will generally produce the most solar energy during the warmest part of the day, from approximately 11am until 2pm. The more 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.
You could switch to charging your phone during the day, instead of a night. Or pop a load of washing or dishwashing on when you stop for lunch, so your appliances are drawing 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.
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.