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Working from home could add £131 a month to your energy bill

  •  Under the new price cap, employees could be paying an extra £131 a month for energy bills if they’re working from home from October[1]

  • Commuters whose weekly travel costs are less than £30 may be better off going into the office to save money on energy[2]

  • From January, extra WFH costs could hit £209 for the average household  and £310 for large homes[3]

  • Having the heating on for an extra ten hours a day and boiling the kettle for cups of tea is estimated to increase daily gas use by 75% and electricity costs by 25% over the colder months[4]

  • Uswitch.com offers households energy saving tips, including only heating the room you’re working in while working from home.

Employees could will pay an extra £131 a month in energy costs to work from home this autumn, meaning that those who spend less than £30 on their weekly commute could save money by going to their workplace[1], according to new analysis from Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service. 

A typical household will run up a £363 monthly bill for gas and electricity under the new £3,549 price cap for October[5], but those working from home will use more energy than those who leave the house empty all day.

Full-time workers are estimated to increase their daily gas use by 75% as they put the heating on for an extra ten hours a day during the coldest months, while electricity use is predicted to rise by 25% as they cook meals and prepare cups of tea at home[4].

Larger households with a higher energy consumption are likely to pay £513 a month, rising to £698 for those who are working from home. Such households will save money if their total weekly commuting costs add up to less than £46.

Occupants of smaller homes like flats are likely to pay £243 on average a month for their energy bill, rising to £330 for those working from home. For people in such households, it is likely to be cheaper to work from home unless their commuting costs are less than £20 a week.

From January, the price cap is predicted to rise to £5,386, meaning that the average household will be paying £580 a month for their energy, compared to £789 for those who are working from home. This extra £209 a month cost makes the weekly commute break-even point £49. 

The difference is even greater for larger homes that use more energy, with an average January bill of £861 rising by £310 for home-workers to £1,171 a month.

Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Working from home during the colder months of the year is obviously going to be more expensive as employees are likely to need their heating on during the day.

“Using extra energy when the heating would usually be off will be especially noticeable on bills this year with prices rising by 80%. 

“Not only do people working from home use more energy staying warm, they are also cooking lunch and making cups of tea, as well as running computers, TVs and phone chargers.

“The amount of extra energy home workers use will vary, but we estimate that people at home for an extra 50 hours per week could use about 25% more electricity and 75% more gas per day this winter. 

“Based on this, for workers who don’t have an expensive commute, working from the office is likely to be more economical this winter.” 


Find out if you’re eligible for an energy help scheme, grant or benefit here

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Sarika Patel
Phone: 07815 635259
Email: sarika.patel@rvu.co.uk
Twitter: @UswitchPR

Notes
1. Ofgem estimates the average monthly energy bill for a medium use household (12,000kWh gas and 2,900kWh electricity annually) will be £363 under the £3,594 price cap from October 1. This monthly bill increases to £494 for employees working from home for five days a week.
2. £494 - £363 = £131 extra monthly cost of working from home. £131 / 30 days a month x 7 days a week = £30 extra cost per week. 
3. Under £5,386 January price cap (estimate from Cornwall Insight) the average medium use household would pay £580 a month, rising to £789 for work-from-home employees, a £209 a month increase.
4. Assume that an employee working from the office turns off their heating for ten hours a day. 14 hours of heating compared to 24 hours a day of heating = 71% increase. Rounding up to 75% for extra hot water used. Households are estimated to use an extra 25% electricity per working day for running a laptop or computer, boiling water for cups of tea, cooking or reheating lunch, additional use of gadgets such as running a dishwasher, and keeping lights on.
5. Ofgem: Default tariff cap level: 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022. See Annex 2

About Uswitch - saving you money for 20 years

Uswitch is the UK’s top comparison website for home services switching. We’ve saved consumers £2.5 billion off their energy bills since we launched in September 2000, and also help people find a better deal on their broadband, mobile and TV.

Uswitch is part of RVU, a global group of online brands with a mission to empower consumers to make more confident home services, insurance and financial decisions.