Working from home has helped many of us save a lot of money paying for daily commutes. The new scheme also contributed to the possible risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus as people are mandated to stay at home. But working from home is no walk in the park all the time. The more time we spend at home, the more electricity we consume.
The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is continuously doing its part in resolving billing issues. From refunding paid convenience fees for online payments, Meralco also implements suspension of disconnection for non-payment of bills. As the electric company does measures to help us out, we are also bound to reduce our consumption and lower our bills.
We’ve made this list on how you can lower your electric bills while working from home:
1. Minimize the number of gadgets plugged at the same time
“All things plugged in will consume electricity”.
Sure thing, you want your work-from-home experience very convenient. You’ve got that dedicated extension wire to accommodate all your gadgets at the same time – the laptop or computer, the electric fan, desk lamp, mobile phone, and power bank among others. That’s not a problem unless they are all plugged and charged at the same time. Once an appliance is plugged, it draws energy called standby electricity or vampire electricity. It discreetly consumes energy which adds to your actual consumption.
2. Shut the screensaver
Who doesn’t want to see those random family pictures flashed on the screen of your monitors during break time? A long time ago, screensavers are used to prevent pixel burn-in on monitors. Now, these are used to cover what’s left waiting to be worked on while you are away from your computer. Although some people may find the consumption negligible, a few still believe that the constant or bouncing images on your pc wastes energy over time.
Much more, try to dim your screen by half and you reduce your energy consumption on personal computers by 30%.
3. Reduce the appliances you use at the same time
Some people may argue that it is hard to control the use of appliances especially when almost everyone in the family is at home. But there are a few ways by which you can lower the number of appliances working at the same time. For instance, instead of four electric fans running in different rooms, you can switch on the air-conditioner in one room and ask everyone to do their stuff there during the day. You can also schedule the charging of mobile phones. Power banks are a great help. When everyone’s charging during the day, you can use the power banks to refill energy into your gadgets. Charge the power banks when only a few are plugging in their devices.
4. Don’t overfill the electric kettle
Coffee is life but lower electricity bills are more beneficial in the long run. When in need of a boost, don’t fill and boil the kettle with too much water. Try to boil one cup at a time to prevent the kettle from heating up what cannot be consumed. Reboiling water is not only a waste of energy but also a hazard to your health. Distilled water shouldn’t have this problem, but tap water tends to concentrate chemicals like nitrates, fluoride, and arsenic when you boil them too long or when you boil them again.
5. Put a lid on your pan when cooking on an induction stove
Cooking at home saves you a lot of money compared with ordering food online. Aside from the delivery charge, online food deliveries are priced up to three times the real cost of your order when cooked at home. However, home cooking may not save you more if you don’t do it right. Putting a lid on your pan saves tons of electricity. Logically, the lid will stop all the heat from leaving the pan which may have been used to cook your food. Putting a lid will save you money, and of course, cooking time. If you want to save more, cook with gas which will cost you a quarter of the price you’re paying for an electric stove.
6. Work smarter, not longer
Planning your day will reduce the time you spend in front of the screen. Cutting down on screen time will aid you to save on energy. Avoiding distractions like spending time on social media while working will reduce your work time. Scheduling your tasks and trying to accomplish them as planned will hone your workday more efficiently and will reduce the money you pay on your electric billing each month.
7. Set your computer on energy-saving mode
We all know that laptops consume up to 80% less energy compared to desktops considering that the former can draw up to 60 watts while the latter can peak to 175 watts. However, whichever you’re using, you still can reduce your electricity consumption by managing the settings of your device. Built-in energy savings mode can be found in your device’s settings. These will allow you to use energy but will reduce it automatically when on standby mode.
Working from home is something new to many after the pandemic has changed the way we all live our lives. In these trying times when health and the economy are at stake, we all need to do our part in lowering the costs of living. Each day, find ways to take advantage of natural light and cool air. Make your homes as comfortable as possible so that the money you work hard for won’t just be spent on high electricity bills.