If you work from home on a part or full-time basis, you enjoy many freedoms (and some nice tax deductions). Though working from home usually gives you more control over your career, it can also increase home energy use. Work-at-home professionals should follow these tips to save energy, which will help in reducing their utility bills and the negative impact on the environment.
Step 1: When purchasing equipment of the office, look for the Energy Star label. Copiers, fax machines, printers, and light fixtures that are Energy Star rated consume less energy, help protect our environment, and save money. As one example, an Energy Star qualified computer consumes between 30 and 65 percent less energy, depending on how it is used.
Step 2: Set equipment to run in sleep or low-power mode during periods of inactivity in the workday. Make double-sided copies and printouts, rather than using two sheets of paper, whenever possible. If it is just as easy to email a document to someone rather than printing or faxing it, do so because this saves paper, ink, and energy.
Step 3: Install power strips and plug the home office equipment into them. This makes it easier to shut off electricity to these items. Laptop computers and other equipment with an AC adapter draw power continuously, even after you have turned off the equipment. Some power strips will turn off power automatically so you do not have to remember to do it.
Step 4: When office equipment and lighting is not being used, turn off the power. Do this when you stop working each night and whenever you must leave the office for a business meeting.
Step 5: When purchasing a computer for the home office, select a laptop. It consumes less energy than a desktop model. It is also convenient to use remotely, eliminating the need to have one computer for the office and another for travel.
Step 6: Keep overhead lights off and use task-specific lighting instead like a reading or desk lamp. This prevents excessive energy consumption and may reduce eyestrain. When there is enough natural light entering the office, turn off all lights and let nature illuminate the workspace.