With remote working becoming the new normal, we’re all using more electricity at our homes than we did earlier. We’re plugged in on our laptops and smartphones throughout the day, run heaters or coolers round the clock, and spend significantly more electricity on household appliances. And higher utility bills are a natural consequence.
Are you looking for ways to curb electricity consumption without hampering your productivity? Here are five simple ideas to save energy while working from home:
1. Let there be sunlight
Where have you set up your home office? If it is an unused corner in a dimly lit space, it is quite likely that you are spending a lot of energy and money on lighting up your workstation. Why not switch to a brighter room illuminated by natural sunlight? Alternatively, you can set up the desk by a window, so that the light and warmth that pour in keep you in a good mood throughout the day!
Some more handy tips you might find useful:
- In case you do need more light, try task lights that illuminate specific areas and consume lesser energy than overhead lamps.
- In winter, throw open the curtains to take advantage of natural daylight.
- In summer, optimize blinds for sufficient sunlight but minimal heat dissipation.
2. Unplug devices and appliances that are not in use
Does that glaring television screen or gaming console distract you from the task in hand? Apart from diverting your attention, such gadgets could be unnecessarily drawing energy in the background even when not in use. So, it’s a good idea to unplug everything that’s not in use, such as chargers, kitchen appliances and computer peripherals like monitors or printers.
A few easy tricks that can bring savings:
- Turn off the lights and air conditioners when you leave your home office for a cup of coffee or lunch.
- Unplug the chargers from sockets when the battery is 100% recharged.
- Use smart power strips that regulate output energy and cut off supply to idle devices.
3. Invest in energy-efficient equipment
Did you know that an LED bulb consumes up to 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb? By switching to newer devices like LED lamps, televisions and monitors, you can lower your energy consumption significantly. It is also a good idea to set up power management in existing devices, like automatic sleep mode after a specific idle time.
Here are some effective ways to boost energy efficiency:
- Opt for ENERGY STAR® certified appliances and devices, such as printers, computers, and monitors. When not in use, these devices automatically switch to a low-power mode.
- Try a power monitor that analyzes device-wise energy consumption and helps optimize usage patterns.
- Prioritize regular maintenance of equipment. For example, clean air filters in HVAC systems reduce the energy drawn.
4. Tweak the heat settings
A good chunk of your electricity bill comes from heating appliances like room heaters. Through slight modifications in temperature settings during your work hours, you can avoid considerable energy wastage. For instance, while you can stay comfy in the home office during the day, you can turn off the radiators in unused living spaces.
A few other heating applications you need to be cognizant of:
- Water heaters and pool heaters should be switched on right before you need hot water.
- Washing machines can be used at lower heat settings. Instead of tumble dryers, you could hang your clothes out in the sun.
5. Switch to solar power
The sun is a free source of energy. By brightening up your workspace with solar energy or drawing solar power on your computer, you can harness a reliable source and cut down your utility bills. Thanks to technological advancements, some simple attachments with your solar panels can monitor your consumption patterns and help avoid wastage.
A few hassle-free ways to plug into the sun:
- Solar power banks: Get started with portable solar chargers for your smartphones and laptops. You could simply sit by the window while you work, and your device gets recharged in no time.
- Solar light bulbs: Enjoy working from your balcony or a patio with a good view? Replace those outdoor bulbs with solar lamps, to reduce utility bills.
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