Five Ways to Save Energy When Working from Home
By Abby Berry
Today, more Americans are working from home than ever before. More time spent at home means more energy used throughout the day.
If you’re punching the clock from home, there are small steps you can take to reduce your energy use and save on electric bills. Here are five easy ways to save energy when working from home.
- Use a smart power strip. Plugging in your most-used devices, like computers, monitors and routers, to a smart power strip ensures these devices aren’t drawing power when they’re not in use. Smart power strips also give you the option to select which devices should stay in “always on” mode.
- Unplug your least-used equipment. If your home office includes equipment like printers and scanners, you’re probably not using these electronics every day. In this case, go ahead and unplug your least-used electronics and devices, since many of these draw energy even when they’re not being used.
- Choose ENERGY STAR®-certified office equipment. If you’re looking to purchase new equipment for your workspace, look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure you’re getting the most energy efficient features. Computers, monitors, imaging equipment and other office electronics that receive the ENERGY STAR® rating include power management features to make saving energy easy, and most are designed to run cooler and last longer.
- Flip the switch and use natural light instead. It’s still chilly out there, so take advantage of natural light and additional warmth from the sun. When you’re working during the day, open blinds, curtains and other window coverings to let natural light in––and don’t forget to turn off the lights to reduce energy use!
- Lower the thermostat. Home heating makes up a significant portion of your energy bills. Turn the thermostat down a couple degrees during the day to reduce energy use and save money. The Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 68 degrees or cooler during winter months. You’re more likely to stay focused and alert when it’s cooler in your home, so all the more reason to mind the thermostat.
Working from home doesn’t have to take a toll on your energy bills, and whether you’re working remotely or not, these practical tips can help everyone reduce their energy use.
Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape.