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5 easy ways to save electricity when you're working from home.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Synergy

Working from home comes with a set of challenges you might never have dreamed of facing.

On any given day you could be faced with working out how to keep your kids out of your office, how to stop your golden retriever barking mid-meeting or how to wriggle out from behind your desk on a video call to get that file you need without showing your co-workers or clients you’re still in your PJs from the waist down.

We’ve all been there. The past few weeks have been interesting, to say the least.

And then there’s that issue of using more energy. Being at home more often (read: ALL THE TIME), you may feel like an increase in your energy consumption is inevitable.

To save us all a few extra bucks here and there, we’ve had a look at some areas where you can save electricity, thanks to Synergy.

Get control of your thermostat.

Your electricity costs can go up 10 per cent for every degree the thermostat goes up in winter or down in summer – so try not to crank up the air con or heating. You could help to keep your energy use down if you can make yourself comfortable with your thermostat set no lower than 24°C in summer and no higher than 21°C in winter.

If it’s nice weather and you’re using a laptop, you might be able to work in your outdoor area and enjoy the free lighting and fresh air out there. If it’s cold, throw a blanket over your legs and invest in some oversized fluffy slippers (no one sees them during your Zoom calls anyway).

Switch off whatever you can.

Before you start and finish for the day, do a quick tour around each room of your home and check what’s on and off.

And get the whole family to get in the habit of checking too. You might have things on you don’t need, such as ceiling fans, lights or heating or cooling in rooms you won’t be using while you work.

Look for any devices or appliances sucking standby power (also known as “vampire power” because it secretly sucks the energy just by being on, even if not in use) and consider switching anything off that your family won’t need until you finish work for the day.

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Secret standby power suckers. Images: Getty.
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Make the most of solar.

If you have solar panels at home, put that renewable energy to work. You could pop a load of washing or dishwashing on when you stop for lunch, so your appliances are drawing on your solar supply.

Try to switch to charging your phone during the day, instead of at night. Here’s why: Your solar panels will produce the most solar energy during the warmest part of the day, which is generally from 11am until 2pm. The more power you can shift to use at this time of day, the less you’ll need to draw from the grid at other times.

Choose energy-efficient workmates.

If you need to buy new appliances or devices to set up home, or you’re upgrading your old ones, try to choose the most energy-efficient options.

While these might cost more upfront, the more energy-efficient appliances (with a higher star-rating) will use less electricity than the less efficient options – so you could save on your energy use in the long term.

Since appliances account for around 30 per cent of our home electricity use, it's worth choosing the right dishwasher, TV or fridge that has a good energy efficiency rating. Check out the Energy Rating Label's website to better understand what those appliance labels mean for your electricity use.

Find fun ways to unplug as you recharge.

When it’s time to play with your kids in between juggling work commitments, explore the ways you can have fun that are low or no-electricity activities. You could:

  • Go camping (or glamping) in your backyard.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt inside your home or in your backyard.
  • Take a family challenge. You might host your own cooking show (and get lunch made in the process) or see who can build the highest tower or strongest bridge using blocks or whatever recycling or building materials you have on hand.

Making a few simple changes to your working from home routines could help you to keep your energy use down, which could help to manage your future electricity bills.

If you need help to manage your electricity bill or see what's using up energy in your home, Synergy has energy comparison tools and flexible payment solutions and initiatives to help keep everybody connected.

What are your energy-saving tips while working from home?

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To see all the ways that Synergy and the WA Government are ensuring that no one’s left behind, visit synergy.net.au/helpforyou

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