More and more people are working from home at least one day a week. While it saves time and energy by cutting out the commute, working from home can actually increase your electric bill.
Tips: Home Office and Electronics
- Use energy-saving office equipment. ENERGY STAR-labeled office equipment is widely available. It can provide dramatic energy savings—as much as 75 percent savings for some products. Overall, ENERGY STAR-labeled office products use about half the electricity of standard equipment.
- Turn off machines and equipment when they are not in use.
- Put your laptop AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off or will turn off automatically to maximize savings. The AC adapter draws power continuously, even when the laptop is not plugged in.
- Use the power management settings on your computer and monitor. Screen savers do not reduce your monitor’s energy use. Instead, use automatic switching to sleep mode or simply turn it off. A desktop computer left on all the time will cost about $65 a year in electricity. Using the automatic sleep mode can cut that cost down to about $18.50 a year.
- If you purchase a new flat screen TV, make it an Energy Star 5.1 label, which allows you to watch five hours of TV a day for less than $20 a year in energy costs.
- Plug electronics, such as your home entertainment system, into smart power strips, which can be set up to automatically cut power to other devices when you turn off your TV. A surround sound audio system, for example, can use more than $30 in electricity if never turned off.
- Lower your thermostat 5-10 degrees during the day, and use a space heater in your home office for supplemental heat. This room-specific solution cost less than running your central heating unit at maximum capacity.
Optimizing your home office for maximum energy efficiency requires a little effort, but it can help lower your electric bill without impacting productivity.