With the new government lockdown measures in effect, people all across the country are now working from home, cooking for the whole family, and entertaining and educating children who would otherwise be at school.
With everyone indoors, occasionally turning the heating on as well as using laptops, televisions and kitchen appliances all throughout the day, has naturally resulted in a vast increase in the amount of energy households are using. Comparison site Uswitch predicts that households could be facing an increase of more than 25 per cent in their electricity usage as well as 17 per cent more gas each day.
Here co-founder of smart home systems installer BOXT.co.uk, Andy Kerr, suggests some ways to save money when working from home.
Let the sunlight in
It is well known that natural light helps to improve your mood dramatically, and is even powerful enough to help fight off seasonal affective disorder. Better yet, it doesn’t cost a thing. So, before you go to flip that switch, make sure you open the curtains nice and wide during the day.
Everyone loves a light bulb moment
Following this, at night be sure to turn the lights off when you leave a room. Why not switch to energy-saving light bulbs to be extra savvy?
After loading the plates, try using the eco setting on your dishwasher. This setting heats the water more efficiently at lower temperatures.
Load it up
It can be tempting to put small loads of washing into the machine as and when you need it, but waiting until you have a full load of clothes will be much more energy efficient.
Tweak the heat
Turning your thermostat temperature down by as little as one degree from your usual setting helps save a great deal of energy and money each year. With such a small degree of change, you certainly won't be able to tell the difference in temperature.
Dry it out
Try air drying your clothes as much as you can, as the tumble dryer is a real energy vampire.
Put a lid on it
One of the benefits of working from home is that you have a fully equipped kitchen at your disposal, perfect for making some unbeatable lunches. However, when cooking at home, make sure you pop a lid on any pans in use on the hob, to lock in the heat.
Shop around to switch energy tariffs
Sometimes loyalty doesn't always pay off. Switching to another energy provider could save you hundreds of pounds a year, especially now that wholesale energy prices have crashed due to the pandemic. This has greatly pushed down the cost of deals for new customers.
Switch it off
This one is probably something we are all guilty of from time to time, as it can be easily forgotten. However, remembering to switch off or unplug electrical appliances when you’re not using them will help keep that energy use down.
Keep an eye on the kids
Following on from this, it’s also always a good idea to double check that your child’s electrical devices haven’t been left running. Kids don’t tend to be as conscious of this and it can be easily missed.
Don’t over do it
This one is simple. Just try to minimise the number of electrical gadgets you use at the same time.
Curtail the kettle
This one is very applicable to those working from home. When getting your morning caffeine fix, make sure to only fill and boil the kettle with as much water as you need. This also cuts down on energy use as well as your waiting time. Quicker teas and less energy. What’s not to love?
Not only will a smart thermostat cleverly allow you to control your heating remotely, but some can even remember your temperature setting habits, to generate a schedule automatically - saving you energy and money.
Give a thought to your boiler
All new boilers are designed to achieve an efficiency rating of 90 per cent to help reduce your carbon footprint. So, if you find yourself with an older boiler (20 years or over) it could be worth investing in a new one to dramatically cut down your heating bills each year. Another great way to lower your heating bills is making sure your boiler is the correct size for your household requirements. You can find this out here.