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Tips to Save on Electricity: Work From Home Edition

By Tiffany Reynolds

Work from home (WFH) saw an enormous expansion when introduced as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. Throughout time, it became the new norm and a preferred option among many workers. As staying at home cuts down on daily traveling time, gas money, and car repairs, a lot of people switched to hybrid or fully remote positions. Now people are looking for tips to save on electricity.

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While reducing the expenses incurred from commuting to a corporate office, WFH can increase your home’s energy consumption and bring you higher electric bills. Luckily, you can drastically cut down your expenses with Power Wizard’s tips to save on electricity. As an energy empowerment company, we provide the information, tools, and products you need to make confident energy decisions in all situations.

Top Tips to Save on Electricity as a WFH Employee

The second quarter of 2020 saw a 10% surge in residential electricity use compared to a similar period in 2016-2019. Without a doubt, this was a result of many people staying at home during the pandemic. But how can those who plan to continue to work from home be more energy-efficient? Here are a few simple changes to your WFH routine that can help lower your power consumption.

Switch to a Smart Power Strip

Do you know that vampire power or phantom loads account for 5-10% of electricity in residential homes? Contrary to popular belief, leaving electrical appliances plugged in when not in use wastes energy.

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You can reduce your standby mode energy use by manually switching off monitors, computers, copiers, and printers. An even better option is to use a smart power strip instead of a wall socket. This is a smart way to save energy and lower your home’s carbon footprint.

While conventional power strips quickly expand your electrical outlets, their convenience may encourage you to leave devices plugged in. Modern smart power strips automatically shut down when electrical products are not in use.

Moreover, smart power strips have circuitry that monitors and regulates electrical outlets. When the power consumption of a connected appliance drops, the circuitry cuts the power supply. The other outlets with operating devices stay on.

Open Your Windows During the Cooler Months

Your home’s heating systems account for about 29% of your electricity bill. They typically use more power than cooling systems to raise your work office temperature. While the cooling process essentially involves moving excess heat outside, heating entails converting electricity to heat and is more energy-intensive.

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You can lower your electricity consumption by installing and opening large windows to let in more heat from the sun. This natural and simple strategy can effectively warm up your office space and reduce your home heating costs during cooler winter months.

Regardless of the heating system, you can save on energy by performing regular upgrades and maintenance. Here are some simple upkeeping steps you can take:

  • Replace or clean HVAC filters as recommended or once a month to ensure efficient and prolonged operation.
  • Adjust your programmable thermostat to as low as comfortably possible during the cold season.
  • Lower the thermostat setpoint further when you are away.
  • Clean baseboard heaters, warm-air resisters, and radiators and remove obstructions like carpeting and furniture to maximize heating.
  • Place heat-resistant reflectors between your radiator and exterior wall to minimize heat loss to the environment.
  • Check the windows and doors for air escapes and seal them to preserve the temperature.

Identify Energy Vampires and Phantom Energy

Phantom loads slowly drain small bits of electricity from plugged-in devices without you even taking notice. Standby devices continuously use electricity to connect remote servers, perform updates, and record information. These ghost loads contribute annually to about $10 billion in energy costs across the nation. But how do you locate them?

Carrying out an electricity audit is an excellent way to identify energy vampires and phantom loads. Power Wizard can recommend an expert auditor to carry out an in-depth analysis of your electricity usage.

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The energy audit involves assessing your electricity bill, heating and cooling systems, insulation, electrical devices, and household appliances.
The auditor will give custom energy tips and home upgrades to help lower your electricity bill.

Utilize Natural Light vs. Light Bulbs

Lighting consumes about 15% of your home’s electricity. You can save about $225 in electricity costs through energy-efficient lighting. It’s enough to open the curtains or blinds to let in the natural light.

Picking a well-lit area in your home as an office space can also reduce the need for artificial lighting. Natural sunlight may also elevate your mood and boost productivity during work hours. When you must use artificial lighting, like at night, try setting up a desk lamp rather than lighting up the entire office space.

Consider the Use of Solar Power

The sun is an immense source of energy that can help you cut your electricity costs. You can harness solar power by installing solar panels that comprise solar cells or photovoltaic cells. Solar cells are semiconductor materials that absorb and convert solar particles or photons to electricity.

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One solar cell can only produce a small amount of electricity. However, several connections make up a module that can produce between 250 to 400 watts of power every hour. A large solar system can power up an entire household.

Solar energy is a renewable and sustainable source of power that reduces dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels. Therefore, the government encourages households to use eco-friendly solar power systems and lower their carbon footprint. It even offers renewable energy tax credits to help offset the home solar installation cost.

You can also connect to an existing electric distribution system that derives its electrical energy from this renewable source. Power Wizard’s DIY shopping tool can help you find the best renewable electrical providers in your area.

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Identify Habits That Can Contribute to Energy Loss

Modifying your electricity use habits can help lower energy loss and utility bills. One of the biggest energy-wasting oversights you can fix is leaving the lights on. With a simple flick of a switch when leaving your workspace, you save electricity and improve your lightbulb’s life span. Alternatively, you can use a smart home system to control the lighting system remotely.

If you still have power-hungry incandescent bulbs, consider replacing them with more energy-efficient ones, such as:

  • Halogen incandescent lights
  • Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)

An LED bulb is Energy Star certified to save energy, last longer, deliver high-quality light, and conserve the environment.

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As we said at the beginning of our list of energy-saving tips, ensure to unplug your office devices after you get the work done. Also, try spending less time browsing your refrigerator contents as it increases your appliances’ energy consumption.

Switch to a More Affordable Electricity Provider and Plan

Changing an electricity provider may be another option for those with high energy bills, but how do you know which one is right for you? You should compare the prices on the market and consider reputation, customer service, incentives, cashback, and switching guarantee.

These evaluations are necessary, but they can take a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, Power Wizard has a DIY shopping tool you can use to compare and pick an affordable energy provider that meets your unique usage needs. There’s no need to go through countless websites and spend hours comparing plans. The Power Wizard tool is like a one-stop shop.

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If you don’t want to bother with shopping at all, Power Wizard offers VIP Full Service options. The former keeps track of your current electric plans and signs you up for new ones. The latter does all the hard work instead of you, from shopping to waiting hours in line with the electric company.

Watch Your Annual Savings Soar

Working at home is beneficial in many ways, and you shouldn’t let the high energy bills spoil all the fun. These tips to save on electricity will ensure you continue enjoying the perks of working from home while reducing your expenses. For further information and assistance with saving energy and changing your providers, contact us at Power Wizard.

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