This is ‘watt’ working from home will add to your energy bill

Advertisement

As Australia comes to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have advised staff to work from home as health and safety precautions intensify. While it’s a great opportunity to save money on parking or public transport, as well as ditching the odd takeaway espresso, some Aussies may be anxiously awaiting their next energy bill. Sure, working from home has upsides, but just how much can this work-to-home transition add to your power bills? Let’s find out.

Loading...

How much can working from home add to your energy bill?

We’ve estimated that working from home for a two-week period could add about $30 to your electricity bill. As you will see below, we’ve come to this estimate based on various energy usage assumptions and specific electricity usage rates, as well as a certain wattage of each appliance considered.

This information is to be used as a general guide only, and will vary in price depending on factors like:

Computer Running Costs

Lady working on computer at home

Whether it’s typing up a monthly report or filling in timesheets for the boss, your computer is clearly going to get a good workout when you’re at home. Our data experts have crunched the numbers to show how much extra you can expect to pay in energy costs because of that computer usage. The below figures are based on a specific set of electricity usage assumptions, over a two-week period or 10 business days with eight hours of use per day. Here’s how much a standard desktop computer is going to cost you:

  • NSW: $2.00
  • VIC: $2.00
  • QLD: $1.76
  • SA: $2.72
  • ACT: $1.76
  • TAS: $1.92
Usage figures based on typical watts per www.sa.gov.au. Estimated electricity usage costs – 27.5c/kWh in NSW, 27.8c/kWh in VIC, 24.2c/kWh in QLD, 38.1c/kWh in SA, 24.1c/kWh in ACT, 27.0c/kWh in TAS.

Laptop Running Costs

Man working with laptop on lounge next to dog

If you’re the type of person who prefers to get a little more comfortable while your worksite is off limits, then chances are you’re going to turn to your laptop. Again, these figures assume a laptop is plugged into a wall socket and charging for eight hours a day over 10 business days. Here’s how much extra you’re going to pay:

  • NSW: $0.56
  • VIC: $0.56
  • QLD: $0.48
  • SA: $0.72
  • ACT: $0.48
  • TAS: $0.48
Usage figures based on typical watts per www.sa.gov.au. Estimated electricity usage costs – 27.5c/kWh in NSW, 27.8c/kWh in VIC, 24.2c/kWh in QLD, 38.1c/kWh in SA, 24.1c/kWh in ACT, 27.0c/kWh in TAS.

Compare energy plans while working from home

Now’s a timely reminder to check your current electricity plan. Look at the breakdown of costs on your latest bill (usually found on the second page) and take note of each charge you’re paying. Then ask yourself this question: are these rates really the cheapest available? If your mind casts any doubts, check out these deals below, which are currently some of the cheapest plans on our database.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

What else could be adding to your energy bills?

Man with laptop turning on air conditioner at home on lounge

At this stage, you’re probably thinking ‘who cares about adding an extra couple of dollars to my power bills’ and you’d be absolutely right, but only if you’re going to be just using a computer or laptop. And that’s very unlikely. So, what other appliances are going to be in overdrive during your hiatus from the office?

Lighting Costs

Unless you plan on sitting in the dark like a vampire, you’re going to switch on a light or two. For argument’s sake, let’s say you turn on two lights when working from home. In this assumption, we are using two compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) as lights which produce 15 watts each. Again, we assume a flat electricity rate of 27 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). By having two lights on for eight hours a day over a 10-day period, it’ll cost approximately 65 cents.

Remember that there are many different types of light bulbs, all of which vary in wattage, meaning the true cost of lighting will vary between households.

Air Conditioner Costs

Air conditioning can be a heavenly addition to any home, especially when the mercury begins to rise. In this price assumption, we’ve looked at three room sizes to give you a realistic view of how much those cooler temperatures are going to cost. We base air conditioner running costs on an electricity usage charge of 25c/kWh for an average reverse cycle unit over 10 days, with eight hours of use.

  • Small sized room of 20sqm at 30c per hour: $24

Ceiling Fan Costs

If your home office is without air conditioning, a ceiling fan is a welcomed substitute, breezing you down as you soldier on. In this price analysis, we use three different settings which vary in wattage and running costs. Our calculations suggest that over 10 days with eight hours of use and electricity usage rate of 28.7c/kWh, a ceiling fan will cost you:

  • Low speed (4.5W) at $0.13 an hour: $0.10
  • Medium speed (18.W) at $0.53 an hour: $0.40
  • High speed (45W) at $1.29 an hour: $1.03

Dishwasher Costs

Those mid-afternoon cravings won’t just magically disappear because you’re at home. In fact, given the proximity of your fridge and pantry, a few guilty pleasures may accidentally slide their way into your mouth. Working out the running costs of dishwashers can be a hard task due to it having so many variables that contribute to the price, like heating water costs and energy efficiency ratings to name just a few. Still, we’ll do our best to break it down.

Let’s say you put your dishwasher on six extra cycles while working from home for two weeks. Assuming an electricity usage rate of 28.7c/kWh and a 12-place setting dishwasher with a four-star energy rating, you’ll be paying about 16.2c each load. This works out to be an extra $0.97 added to your bill.

As this is a very loose set of assumptions, it’s best to jump on energyrating.gov.au for a more accurate running cost of your dishwasher.

Television Costs

If you just can’t handle the silence of working from home and need a bit of background noise to keep you company, your TV can provide some level of comfort. However, like all devices, it comes with a cost. By using the energyrating.gov.au website, we’ve calculated that a three-star, 55-inch TV using 512kWh of electricity a year will cost roughly $4 to run over 10 days for eight hours use a day.


Image credits: G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock.com, Flamingo Images/Shutterstock.com, George Rudy/Shutterstock.com, LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

Share this article

Advertisement