Some simple steps that could keep the bills down while you self-isolate.


As more people work from home in an effort to delay the spread of coronavirus, it’s no surprise that utility bills are expected to rise sharply.

If you are self-isolating on your own, it’s only natural to do things at home that would normally be done in the office, like making a cuppa every hour or using the microwave to make your lunch.

And if there’s more than one of you, energy usage is bound to increase.

Even having lights on to create a bright workspace will eventually take its toll on your electricity bill. recently spoke with an expert who provided insight into what those working at home can do to save money on future bills.

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive at Trust Power, the company behind the new Loop energy-saving assistant, told the : “With
thousands of UK workers working from home and many households self-isolating, consumers could be in for an unwelcome surprise and see their energy bills rise.”

To keep costs down, householders can take some simple steps to limit the impact on their bills and on the environment – such as adjusting their thermostats and ensuring devices aren’t left on standby unnecessarily.

Here are Loop’s top tips for keeping on top of energy usage while working from home:

1. Turn central heating thermostat down by 1 degree

According to the energy site, turning the temperature down by just 1 degree could save homeowners up to £80 and reduce a home’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 320 kg – all without even noticing.

2. Move sofas away from radiators

If homeowners have the heating on for longer while working from home, the energy site advises to make sure you move any sofas or chairs away from radiators to ensure heat can circulate properly.

3. Switch to LED bulbs

According to the site, if you’re at home, it’s reasonable to expect your lights will be on more often – even with the clocks about to go forward. If you replace all of the bulbs in your home with LEDs, then for an initial outlay of around £100 for an average house, you’ll save about £35 a year on your energy bill.

4. Reduce your ‘phantom load’

Some appliances need to be left on all the time (like a fridge or freezer) or kept on standby (like a smart speaker) but many appliances are left on that don’t need to be.

This background electricity use is known as “Phantom Load”, because of the way in which energy is invisibly drained without users necessarily knowing about it.

Make sure you keep your Phantom Load low by turning items off when they’re not in use, such as laptops and desktops you are using to work from home. Household appliances like digital TV boxes can also contribute to rising costs, so switching things off at the plug when they’re not in use is a must.

5. Switch your supplier or tariff

If you’re not sure which energy tariff you’re on, or when it’s due to come to an end, now could be the perfect time to check you’re still on the cheapest deal.

If you haven’t switched supplier or tariff for over a year there’s a chance you could be on a pricey standard variable tariff, so use an energy-saving assistant like Loop or head to a compare the deals website to find a cheaper option.

6.Keep calm and make a cuppa

Whether you’re still in the office or working from home, a morning cuppa is still likely to be top of your list, but make sure you only fill the kettle with the water that you need – the savings add up to around £6 a year.

(Story source: Daily Record)

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