Energy saving tips to set up your home office
Energy saving tips to set up your home office
Create your home office with energy savings in mind and still make working from home the perfect fit for you. More Australians are working from home then ever before on a daily basis!
Although working from home has its benefits, it’s convenient and means you’re not commuting, if you don’t manage your energy usage properly you could be seeing your hard earned money fly right out of your home office window.
Whether you’re at the kitchen bench or you have a dedicated space, there are many cost advantages to working from home.
But, the costs can add up, so we’ve put together some energy saving tips for your home office that will lower your power bills faster than most of us!
Five smart home office energy saving tips to get you started:
Computers may only be small nowadays, but they can chew through power. There are a number of simple ways to reduce your power use so you can save on your electricity bill.
Did you know home electronics and computer products account for around 15 per cent of household energy use? Or that a single computer and monitor left on for 24 hours a day can cost over $200 a year. Switching it off at the power point will reduce your electricity bill.
- When you leave your computer even for a short while, turn off the screen to reduce power usage - contrary to popular belief a screen-saver does not save power!
- Use sleep mode to automatically power down your computer. This feature puts computers into standby or turns them off after a period of inactivity. Nearly all computers and monitors today have this feature. You may need to turn it on yourself to activate it in your settings. Setting your computer to go into sleep mode when not in use can save up to 70 per cent energy then when in full power.
- Turn your computer off at the wall when not in use for a long time, especially overnight. Even when on 'standby' computers and other appliances continue to draw power. Standby power can account for more than 10 per cent of household electricity use.
- If you have a printer, only turn it on when you need to print. If possible get an inkjet printer, it uses 90 per cent less energy than a laser printer.
Did you know the number of computers used in Australia is expected to reach 46 million by 2020?
When replacing your old equipment look for Energy Star rated monitors and computers with a sleep mode, they use up to 80 per cent less energy than regular computers and save up to 90 per cent with laptops.
Improve your energy efficiency with energy monitoring
If you are one of the more than 1.79 million Australians with solar panels on your roof, you can reduce how much energy you use and as a result your electricity bills by using your most energy draining office equipment such as your printer or photocopier, when your panels are producing more energy than you're using.
How do you know when best to use your office equipment? Use an energy monitoring tool to help you see when your generating excess power.
Home energy management systems track and record when you are using electricity.
Some energy management systems, allow you to monitor your home office and household energy usage in real-time. Letting you plan the best times to use energy and still reduce your electricity bills. Needless to say, the less electricity your household consumes, the less your electricity bill will be.
You can monitor your electricity consumption and reduce your electricity bill by using your energy draining office equipment and appliances at times when electricity prices are lowest. Some electricity plans charge different prices at different times throughout the day for using energy. By timing your office equipment to come on when energy is cheapest you can save big on your electricity bill.
More smart home office tips
Avoid installing downlights
Besides using a lot of energy, they go through the ceiling and insulation, causing heat loss and in summer make the room hotter. Try LEDs or compact fluorescent light bulbs that use much less electricity than incandescent bulbs. If you can, position your desk next to a window so you can use natural light.
Close all windows and doorsIf you’re home all day working, then your power bill will hit the roof if you have the heater or air-conditioner on the entire time. If you’re feeling the chill in your office, close the door and fit a draft stopper. It’ll reduce heat loss so you won’t have to run a space heater continuously. In summer, just use a fan. Or if you really need an air-conditioner, close the doors of the warmest rooms and keep all windows shut so cool air won’t escape.
Use a power boardPlug all of your home office devices, such as your computer, printer, phone charger and lamp, into one power board. That way, once you’ve turned each one off, you can switch them all off at the wall at once.
Don’t overload your screenClose any programs you're not using - the more programs and applications you have open at once, the more power you're drawing and it makes your computer slower. Try shutting off programs running in the background. This will also save energy and improve system performance.
Video surveillance for freeDid you you know you can turn your old iPhone or Android phone into a streaming security camera, thanks to some clever apps. You don't even need a phone SIM, just connect to your home Wi-Fi network. After you set it up and start recording, most apps allow you to save footage to cloud services such as Dropbox. Some even support motion tracking, so you can get alerts if someone walks by the camera.
Working from home is now the norm for more and more Australian's as a result of the covid lock downs, but with just a few hints, it doesn't have to mean higher energy bills.