Top tips on how to reduce your energy consumption when working from home

Published On: 25/05/2022

The cost of living is at an all-time high, and if you’re contracting or freelancing from home your costs will be even higher than those of an office dweller. So how can you reduce your spend when working from home?

In this blog we explore the top 7 things you can do to keep more of your hard earned contractor and freelancer pay.

  1. Look at ways to reduce your bills

These might seem like obvious points, but take a look in case there’s anything you’ve missed:

  • Only heat the room you’re working from, and not the whole house
  • Turn your thermostat down gradually, rather than all at once. If you do this over a few days it’ll be less of a shock to the system!
  • Figure out which room in your home has the most sun and is therefore the warmest to work from
  • There’s a whole new range of heated clothing that’s hitting the market, which is specifically designed for those who work from home. They range from heated boots, USB heated mittens, heated insoles, electric gilet, hot water bottle, etc. Martin Lewis from the money saving expert has compiled a handy list of all the heated gadgets you can get to help keep you warm working from home, their initial cost and how much they cost to run
  • Switch off anything you’re not using
  1. Get your home a smart meter if you don’t yet have one

Seeing the cost of your daily energy usage increasing before your very eyes is the quickest way to stop and think about the ways in which you use energy! Having a smart meter shows you how much energy you’re using on a daily basis, and which of your appliances are using the most energy. This gives you a good indication as to which ones might be due an upgrade to a newer, more energy efficient model.

A smart meter is also a great way of seeing how much it actually costs you to work from home. You’ll have the necessities such as running your laptop, charging your smartphone, lighting and potentially a printer, but if you like to have the TV on in the background and your TV is 200W, you could be spending an additional £170 per year on electricity alone. Take a look at the handy online tool on the Omni website which allows you to pop in your appliance’s wattage and see how much it’ll cost you to run per year.

  1. Offset your bills, by increasing your prices

The cost of living has increased for everyone, so we’re all aware that prices have skyrocketed, and one way to offset your bills is to increase your prices. Do your market research to see how much other contractors and freelancers are charging for similar skills, location, qualifications, etc, so that you’re not pricing yourself out of the market, or making yourself unattainable. Also make sure to always let your client know of a price increase before starting work, as no one likes to receive a higher bill at the end of a job!

  1. Offset your energy bills, by renegotiating your other bills

Now that you’ve sorted the money coming in, it’s a good idea to look at how much money is going out. Whilst it’s near impossible to negotiate better energy rates at present, you can still see if your broadband provider, mobile phone contract and other service providers are able to shave a few pennies off your monthly bill. Whilst the reductions they’re able to offer you may be small, they will all add up over the year, and it’s better that the money is in your pocket rather than theirs.

  1. Reduce your travel costs

Zoom calls are now the norm, and you’re certainly more likely to meet over a screen than face-to-face, so why spend mega money travelling back and forth when you don’t need to? Arrange to meet with your client at critical touch points during the contract, but agree to meet online weekly for progress meetings.

  1. Try not to shop in your lunch break

Whilst popping to the shops in your lunch break can provide a welcome break from your screen it can quickly become an expensive habit, and you’ll also end up eating more (which isn’t great for your waistline!). Try to plan your meals a week in advance and do a big food shop once a week. And try to keep away from the biscuit tin during the day…

  1. Double check your tax breaks and whether you’re making the most from them

Reducing the total amount of tax and National Insurance you’re liable to pay can really help towards maximising your take home pay and offsetting those energy bills. Costs incurred wholly and exclusively for your business can be offset against your tax return. Always speak to a specialist contractor and freelancer accountant like Taxevo about how you can legitimately reduce the amount of tax you pay by understanding the available allowances to you.

How can Taxevo help you?

Here at Taxevo we offer freelancers and contractors expert accounting services designed to help you manage your business, maximise your take home pay, and leave you free to focus on your business and do what you do best. With monthly packages starting from only £25+VAT we can cater to all your needs. Get in touch to find out more, or take a look at our packages today.

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