Energy saving tips: working from home with the family

In the current climate more Australians are working and schooling from home. So, what does this mean for your family's energy consumption?

Energy
5 min read
As we all face more time at home, some households will be using multiple devices. Here are some easy tips to help you become smarter about your energy consumption while the whole family is at home.

When people who would have been traditionally at school or work in the daytime are suddenly at home on weekdays, it’s very likely that multiple devices will always be used or charging at the same time – all contributing to an increase in your home’s energy usage.

Typically, the more time we spend home, the more we use our appliances. And this change in behaviour can impact how much energy we use – and, ultimately, our energy bills.

Energy tips

Given these unprecedented times that are causing uncertainty and financial stress for so many Australians, it’s important for us to remind ourselves how we can better control our gas and electricity usage around the home.

Here are some easy tips to remember:

Appliances

  • Charging devices like iPads once a day and setting them to low battery mode can help reduce electricity usage. If the kids run the battery down, it’s a good chance to encourage them to pick up a book instead and read it together – having a break from our digital screens can have a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing as well as our power bills.
  • Shut down appliances when you’re finished using them – like gaming consoles, TVs and laptops or computers – as they use energy, even on standby or in ‘sleep’ mode.

Around the home

  • Being home more means chores might start being done at any time of the day where they might otherwise be completed at nights or on weekends. Try to avoid this and set your dishwasher and washing machines to run overnight, especially if you have off-peak rates.
  • Hang your laundry outside and dry it for free, rather than popping it in your clothes dryer (they’re often one of the home’s more energy-intensive appliances to run). You can stretch away from your desk at the same time!
  • Close the doors to empty rooms in your homes when running heaters or air conditioners, so you only temperature-control the areas that need it.
  • If you have a home office, make the most of the natural light and try to avoid using halogen downlights. Artificial lighting and looking at a screen all day can cause dry eyes or sore shoulders.
  • If you have a smart meter, follow your home’s energy usage in AGL’s My Account and see what times of the day you use the most – it may uncover ways for you to save.
  • Use your devices during the sunniest times of the day, when your solar panels are working hard to produce free electricity for you.

Outside

Family time

  • If you and your loved ones are binge-watching a TV series, make a commitment to watch it together – once! Otherwise, it could be multiple people watching the same show at different times using the TV unnecessarily.
  • Power off (at the wall) when you’re done and make the most of this extra time at home by calling friends and family that you might not be able to see in person at the moment to make sure you’re staying in touch, even during social distancing.

Looking for more energy-saving tips? Download AGL’s Home Energy Efficiency Guide.

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