Energy-wise tips while working from home

As working from home settles in as the new norm, many New Zealanders find their energy bills increasing. From printing and scanning to simply powering on your computer every day or using your desk lamp often, small actions can add up to a big cost if you aren’t mindful. But there are steps you can take to help alleviate your energy consumption and think smarter about how you use your electronics. 

Have a look at our six top tips below for inspiration on how you can work smarter with your energy.

  1. Be mindful of computer energy usage

    Keeping electronics like computers, laptops and monitors on standby all night can turn out to be a major energy drain. Get in the habit of switching off all of your devices when you’re done using them. If they need to idle during the workday, switch off screensavers as they can prevent the computer from going into sleep mode and saving energy.

  2. Keep cool and stay warm wisely

    Instead of running the air conditioner, consider getting a smaller fan or even a mini fan to plug into your computer’s USB port to save energy. In the cooler months, invest in a cosy pair of slippers and a nice blanket to bundle up with instead of cranking the heater. 

  3. Look for light in your workspace

    If you have multiple spaces to choose from to set up your office, opt for the space with the most natural light to avoid having to use a light more than necessary. 

  4. Choose the (b)right bulb for your needs

    LED lightbulbs are an eco-friendly choice for all the spaces around your home, thanks to their longer lifespan compared to traditional halogen bulbs. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority has a helpful guide on the benefits of LED bulbs and how to choose the best one for you here.

  5. Be wary of fridge grazing

    With unlimited access to all of your snacks in easy reach, it can be tempting to open your fridge or freezer more than you used to. With refrigeration accounting for about 10% of energy use in homes, the fridge can easily build up more use by being open and shut frequently. Prepare healthy, shelf-stable snacks like muesli bars or homemade muffins that don’t require refrigeration for easy access, or write a list of what’s available inside the fridge and keep it on a sticky note on the door so that those tempted to graze can know what their options are before opening.

  6. Evaluate your current plan

    If you follow these tips and still feel like your bill is too high, it might be a good idea to evaluate your current plan and provider and see if there’s a better deal out there for you. Consumer Powerswitch helps you view and compare plans based on your location and energy needs, so you can find the best deal out there. See the tool here