In 2018, the average monthly electricity consumption of a resident in the United States was 914 kWh. Surprising, isn’t it? This consumption number led many to rethink their electricity usage and move to more sustainable ways of living. Fast forward to 2020, where we’re witnessing another shift from working in offices to working from home. The units consumed are steadily going up since we are spending more and more time at home, with some people even doubling their consumption. Today, the average monthly residential bill is $115.49.
So how can you reduce your utility bill while working from home? Read on to find out!
1. Manage the temperature
Anyone that’s worked in an office knows it’s usually either freezing or way too hot. While working from home, your thermostat is in constant use and in your control. Regulating your home temp by a few degrees not only saves electricity but also money! Even one degree can save electricity. Small temperature changes are hardly noticeable but go a long way.
You could also install a programmable thermostat that automatically turns off or reduces heating and cooling when you are asleep or away. Did you know that you can save about $180 every year on average with a programmable thermostat?
2. Replace your light bulbs
LED bulbs are very energy-efficient. You should replace them with the traditional incandescent light bulbs that consume excessive electricity. Energy-efficient bulbs (LEDs, CFLs, Halogens) are generally more expensive off the shelf. Still, they cost less in the long run and last longer.
3. Purchase energy-efficient devices
On average, home appliances roughly consume 13% of total household energy use. When purchasing energy-efficient appliances, you should look for devices with the ENERGY STAR label, ensuring that it will consume less energy during usage and standby. Energy-efficient appliances might have higher upfront purchase prices, but their operating cost is often 9-25% lower than conventional models.
4. In the winter
Insulation plays a crucial role in retaining heat during the winter. It also helps lower the overuse of electricity and reduces utility bills. If you want recommendations for your home, you can use the Home Energy Saver tool. The main areas for you to consider adding insulation are your attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace.
5. Install energy-efficient windows
Windows add to about 10 – 25% of your total heating bill. Changing to a double pane window helps break that loss. You can use gas-filled windows with “low-E” coatings for homes in cold regions to significantly reduce your heating expenses. In warmer climates, you can reduce heat gain by lowering the amount of thermal energy that enters your home and reflect sunlight away from windows. Having Energy Star windows can save you $20-$95 each year on your utility bills, depending on where you live.
6. The Eco Life
Taking a mindful step towards saving the environment comes with taking small actions and turning them into regular habits.
- Make it a point to switch the tube lights and fans off when you exit any room.
- Remember to put your laptop on sleep mode when you step away for that second cup of coffee.
- Unplug energy-hungry devices.
- You can reply on the sunlight and use the natural sunlight coming through windows and skylights instead of turning on lamps or lights.
It’s time to stop asking how to save the environment and start taking action! You’ll end up saving money and are sure to reduce your utility bills significantly.