Remote work is here for thousands of businesses and millions of Americans to live in.
While many workers have returned to the office after pandemic restrictions are lifted, as of April 7.7% of Americans still work from home full time. US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Nearly half of employees have access to work from home, including workers with hybrid remote and in-office schedules, according to Gallup,
Remote working is attractive for many reasons, including the fact that it can help you cut costs in many areas.
Working from home allows people to save money on expenses like commuting, office attire, lunch, etc.
However, your home office is hurting your wallet through one bill in particular.
energy cost of working from home
Inflation has made it more expensive to drive to work and eat out, but the cost of electricity is rising as well.
The average electricity price was up 12% from May 2021 to May 2022, according to BLS,
and according to save energyHousehold utility bills went up in every state except Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Oregon.
Costs increased by at least 10% in 10 states, and the average household is paying more than $120 per month for energy.
Americans who work from home are realizing that costs add up more severely, as they are spending more time at home and using more energy than in years past.
While working from home may be cheaper than going back to the office, depending on your circumstances, the additional energy expenditure can amount to hundreds of dollars a year.
In particular, these devices are the worst offenders inflating your bill.
1. Air Conditioning
Energy costs vary from state to state, but on average it costs about $1.28 per day To cool a room for eight hours.
If you’re working from home and wind up during the day, it costs up to $38.50 a month to use the AC, which you won’t incur if you work in the office.
energy saverThe Department of Energy’s Consumer Resources recommends turning off or adjusting the temperature while you’re away for a 10% annual savings.
However, working from home in the summer can save you from cashing in on these savings to keep your workspace cool.
Like AC, if you were going to an office, your lights are something that you turn off before you leave the house.
Depending on how energy efficient your bulbs are, you can spend up to a cent for each hour you leave the lights on, per bulb.
One way to reduce the energy cost of keeping the lights on is to switch your bulbs.
Department of Energy It is estimated that the average family can save about $225 by switching all their bulbs to LEDs.
3. Space Heater
While not a concern at this time of year for most Americans, space heaters are commonly used to keep warm in the winter.
When it comes to how much it’s going to cost you at the end of the month, these appliances can also turn up the heat, especially if you’re spending extra time at home.
The average unit will use around 1.5kWh which is just under 23 cents per hour.
An easy way to lower your energy bill (and reduce your carbon footprint) is to use energy efficient appliances.
Looking for energy star Labels on an appliance are a great way to make sure it is truly energy efficient.
In fact, a product certified by Energy Star will be anywhere from 9 to 50 percent more efficient than the industry efficiency standard, per solar panel.
4. Computers, Chargers and Technology
From running a computer for eight hours to charging any number of devices such as your phone or headphones, these small energy costs are usually passed on to your employer to keep your equipment running for the day.
When you’re not in the office, however, you’re expending very little energy to keep your technology running.
For example, PC Mag writer Whitson Gordon Calculation Uses your computer’s energy to show how expensive the device can be.
Gordon, who works from home 40 hours a week, said his average work-week energy cost was $3.08, or $160.16 a year.
He admitted that he uses the computer only a few hours per week outside of work, and that his bill could be “possibly in the tens of dollars” if he only uses his computer a few hours per day.
Plus, small costs like keeping chargers plugged in throughout the day can make using the technology at home expensive.
5. Coffee the creator
Coffee will not only give you a boost in the morning, but it will also increase your electricity bill.
Running your coffee maker each day will add an additional amount of $2 to $4 to your electricity bill per month, or $24 to $48 per year.
Of course, it’s much cheaper than buying coffee.
If your office provides coffee, however, this is another expense of working from home that can add up over time.
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