Working from home has its ups and downs. The upside is that your commute time has decreased to being non-existent and your boss isn’t getting upset with you for wearing the same sweatpants 5 days in a row. You also get your full 30 minutes or an hour lunch time without having to factor in any drive time.
However, the downside is the energy and utilities your company was paying for now adds to your home monthly utility bills. You may not have thought much about it until you saw your utility bills for the month. Yet, you have to work and currently you can only work from home so what can you do?
We went searching and found all the little ways you can help to cut down your utility bill each month. It may not seem like much, but every little thing adds up. Your current utility bill is a cumulation of a bunch of little decisions, but we want to help you lower that bill for next month.
Written and posted by KGW.com
Computers and devices
- A desktop and monitor can use four times more energy to operate than a laptop
- Energy Star-certified computers are up to 25 percent more efficient than conventional models. There are also Energy Star laptops, monitors, printers and modem/router that save energy
- Set computers and monitors to go to “sleep” after 10 or 15 minutes of inactivity. Better yet, set them to hibernate to use no power
- Unplug chargers: Energy “vampires” such as laptop and cellphone chargers use energy even when they’re not charging anything. See a PGE video on energy “vampires”
- Consider a smart power strip for your media center or computer area that can turn off devices, task lights, DVD players and game consoles
- Use energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers
- Dishwashers use as little as 3 to 5 gallons of water per load while hand washing the same load could consume up to 27 gallons. Running the dishwasher only when it’s full can save you around $40 per year
- Most laundry can be done with cold water, which cuts down on the water heater’s energy load
- Don’t linger in front of an open fridge. The longer you keep the door open, the more energy it wastes. If your fridge is aging or inefficient, you may want to replace it with a more energy-efficient model
- A hot shower requires a lot of energy. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and find other ways to cut hot water use like not letting the hot water faucet run when shaving or hand washing dishes
- Turn off vent fans after 10 minutes since they pull warmed or cooled air out of your house
- Read more appliance and electronics tips
Video game consoles
- Streaming movies or TV shows through an Xbox or PlayStation eats up to 20 times more energy than using a smart TV or small add-on devices like Apple TV, Google Chromecast or a Roku box
- Enable the automatic “power down” feature on a console, otherwise it will continue to use high levels of power when left on
- Enable your TV’s automatic brightness control sensor to adjust the picture brightness to the level of light in the room. Less-bright display is needed at night. Avoid settings like “vivid,” which use a lot more energy to produce an overly bright picture
- Turn off screens -- TVs, game consoles, cable boxes and computers -- when no one’s paying attention to them
You never really understand how much energy is used when the devices are so tiny or you didn't think they were actually "on." Yet, you are now informed of all such things! Armed with all the information on what will suck energy and end up costing you, you can begin to lower your energy bill for next month.
On top of wanting to decrease your utility bills, are you struggling with ways to be effective and efficient when working from home? We have these six tips that will help you to switch the way you look at working from home and become more effective and efficient!