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Saving money with an energy-efficient home office

Saving money with an energy-efficient home office

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Saving money with an energy-efficient home office 

There are
many advantages to working at home, but the associated bills can be a
significant downside. Heating your office and powering your computer 9-5 means
it’s not unusual to see household bills double after becoming a home worker.

Remote
workers may be able to claim expenses from their employer, and the
self-employed are eligible for tax breaks on running costs – see the government website for more
information.

However, it’s
likely your electricity and gas bills will remain a considerable expense. If
you want to cut the cost of working from home – and be kinder to the
environment – making your office more energy efficient is well worthwhile.

One of
the best strategies is choosing energy-efficient equipment. If you frequently
use a computer, its energy rating will have a huge influence on annual bills.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, laptops typically use 85 per cent less power than
desktop PCs. Features like
screen size and processing power impact efficiency, so don’t buy a higher spec
than you need.

When
purchasing any electronic appliance, look out Energy Saving Trust Recommended
and ENERGY STAR labels, and compare energy labels to find the
most efficient models. Always choose energy-saving lightbulbs over
high-wattage alternatives.

Of
course, it’s not just what you buy: the way you use your equipment is also important.
Here are some tips:

  • Take advantage of
    power-saving features like auto-standby on your computer
  • Unplug appliances when out
    of use
  • Only boil the amount of
    water you need in the kettle
  • Only switch on lights when
    natural daylight is inadequate

Keeping
your home office at a suitable temperature can be very expensive. In winter,
make sure you layer with thermals and jumpers before turning to heaters. When
it gets too cold, gas central heating is generally the most efficient option.
If you have thermostats, save even more by turning down radiators in rooms
other than your office. uSwitch has more
information.

In
summer, dress in cool clothing and open some windows to bring the temperature
down. If it’s still too hot, a desk fan is the best option – running an air
conditioner can be very expensive.

If you’re
willing to invest more in making your home energy efficient, look into measures
such as insulation and solar panels. In the long-term, these are usually very
cost-effective. Need a loan? Find out whether you’re eligible for the Green Deal to take
advantage of a money-saving finance plan.

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