Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, workers are spending a previously unprecedented amount of time at home. Without offices to go to or friends to visit, we’ve all been working from or just staying in our properties.
While staying at home does have its benefits, such as giving you the time to consider a home renovation or the chance to binge-watch Tiger King, it also has its downsides.
One of the main challenges that many homeowners face is higher bills. By spending more time at home, you’re using more electricity, water and gas, all of which are adding to your bills.
These costs soon mount up, and in these challenging times, everyone is eager to save money just in case.
There are many home improvements and additions, such as solar panels, which can help you to cut down on your bills. However, these are expensive to install and can have hidden extra costs, such as raising the cost of your home insurance, making it harder to sell your property and more.
So, what are the alternatives? Here are some of the ways that you can reduce your home energy bills even while you’re working from, or just staying at, home.
Unplug Appliances That Aren’t In Use
It sounds ridiculously simple, but it’s surprising how many people leave their appliances switched on when they’re not using them. All appliances that are plugged in will use some electricity, even if they’re not being used. This electricity won’t seem like very much, but over time it will add up. So, if you want to save money, and the planet, then your first thought should be to unplug anything that you’re not using. That might be your work computer once you’re done for the day, or your phone charger when your battery is full again.
Get Smart About Your Energy Usage
Small amounts of wasted energy quickly add up, but you might not always know exactly where and when you’re wasting your precious power, and therefore your hard-earned cash. As such, if you haven’t already, you should invest in a smart metre. Smart metres show your home’s power usage in real-time, so you can see exactly what you’re using and when. With that information, you can reduce your energy usage and identify any times when you’re using more energy.
Work In Well-Lit Rooms
As the nights are drawing in, more people are putting the light on earlier so that they can see while they work. An easy way to reduce your energy bills and save on power is to work in a well-lit room. When choosing your home office, make sure that it has a large window and is painted a light colour, so that it will stay light for as long as possible and stop you needing to turn on the light. If you find that you still need to switch on the light early, then try using a small, targeted lamp, rather than illuminating the entire room. You might only save a little money on electricity each day, but it’ll add up over the months, or even years, that you’re working from home.
Insulate Your Property To Save On Heating
In winter, your heating bill is going to rise, as previously you were out during the day with no need to heat your home. Now you’re home all day, you want to be snug and cosy, but that means paying more money to heat your property. To save on heating costs, you should make sure that your home is properly insulated. While loft and cavity wall insulation are important, there are other small factors that you could consider. For example, you could think about the interior design of the rooms you spend the most time in, and make sure that they’re optimised for warmth and comfort. If you have large pieces of furniture, then make sure they’re not blocking the heat source, and that they’re arranged so that they keep the heat in the room as warm as possible. You should also make sure that there aren’t any drafts, and if there are that you cover/ fix them. Drafts not only let cold air in; they also let the hot air that you’re paying for out of your property. If you’re only a little cold, you could consider wearing more clothes or making yourself a hot drink before you put the heating on. These options are much cheaper than warming your entire home, so think long and hard before you reach for that thermostat!
Consider Moving To A Smaller Home
While relocating to a new property might sound like a drastic move, it could save you money in the long run. If you chose your current home based on your office location, but you’re now working from home, then you have the freedom to choose where you move to next. Choosing where you live isn’t as important to your power bills as the size of the property you choose; the larger your home, the more money it will cost to heat and power it. If you chose a larger home to be close to the office, but now don’t need all of that room, then you might want to consider downsizing to save on your energy bills, mortgage costs/ rent, council tax and much more.
There’s no fool-proof, guaranteed way to make your energy bills drop by hundreds of pounds per month. However, with these practical tips, you should be able to make small lifestyle changes that help offset the extra money you’re paying now you’re staying home more.