With prolific advancements in telecommuting technology, there’s a growing number of employees and small business owners working from home in the U.S. In fact, according to the State of the Remote Job Marketplace report from FlexJobs, there are now 3.9 million Americans working from home offices for at least half the time, equating to 2.9% of the total U.S. workforce.
If you’re amongst the millions of workers operating from a home office, establishing energy-efficient working practices will save you money on business expenses. To conserve energy and pay less on energy bills in a home office, greater attention should be paid to devices.
Tips for Saving Energy in Your Home Office
Apply these 5 tips for energy savings in your home office to reap the benefits of consuming less energy and thereby paying less on energy bills.
Activate Power Management Settings on All Devices
Modern PCs, laptops and other devices, feature power management settings. Such settings should be activated to save on electricity. By simply activating power management mode on your computer, you can save between $10 and $100 annually in electricity costs. By using power management, you’ll eliminate the need to boot up your computer each day, saving you time in the morning. Simply follow the instructions on your device to configure power management features.
Use Power Strips in Your Home Office
You may not be aware that when computers and other appliances are plugged in, they are silently draining energy, all day and night, even when they are switched off. Known as ‘standby power’, the energy appliances drain by simply being plugged in accounts for as much as 5% to 10% of residential energy use.
Working from a home office naturally requires multiple appliances to be plugged in, all of which consume this “standby power” even when not in use. One way to combat the energy-draining issues of standby power is to use power strips with switches. Using a power strip to plug in your home office appliances, such as your computer, printer, phone charger, lamp and paper shredder, and remembering to switch the power strip off when the appliances are not being used, will help save power in your home office.
Use Energy Efficient Equipment
Using energy-saving office equipment at home can save as much as 75% on energy use. Energy Star-labelled office equipment is widely available and uses approximately half the electricity of standard office equipment.
When purchasing equipment for your home office, be aware laptops use considerably less energy than desktop computers and therefore would be a wiser purchase if you are looking at ways to save on power and create an energy-efficient home office.
Switch to a Cheaper, More Energy-Efficient Provider
One of the quickest and most effective ways to save on energy and reduce gas and electricity bills in your home office is to switch to a cheaper, more energy-efficient provider.
Energy-efficient providers offer green supply tariffs, meaning some or all of the electricity you use in your home office comes from renewable sources, such a solar panels, wind farms or hydroelectric power stations.
By using electricity from renewable sources to power up your home office, you will have the added satisfaction that you are helping the environment. You can also save money through fixed-rate renewable home energy options.
By saving money with a cheaper, more energy-efficient provider, you’ll be able to manage your home business budget more efficiently and save money too.
Create an Energy-Efficient Home Office Through Sensible Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling equipment is essential in a home office but can also be your biggest home office expense. By making a few simple moves, you can save considerable energy on heating and cooling.
For example, only heat or cool your home office during the hours you are working so you are not wasting energy unnecessarily. Use programmable thermostats and apps to make it easier to control the temperature of your home office and save energy and money in the process. During the winter, turn your thermostat down a little to conserve energy. Simply lowering the temperature from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 62 degrees Fahrenheit could save you as much as $100 a year.
Using a space heater, which allows you to control the temperature in a certain room or space, can also be an effective way to create a more energy-efficient home office. Similarly, using a fan instead of air-conditioning in the summer can be significantly more energy-efficient.
Follow these 5 tips and you can enjoy a more energy-efficient home office at a considerably lower cost.
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