5 Ways Telecommuters Can Reduce Household Energy Use
WRITTEN BY REALTY TIMES STAFF
As someone who’s devoted to reducing their home’s carbon footprint, you’re likely already adhering to some of more common suggestions. Case in point: You turn off the lights when you leave a room. You’ve purchased blackout window shades. And you’ve made sure not to set the A/C too high during those hot, summer months.
While you may want to boost your energy savings even more, as a telecommuter, some of the classic energy-saving tips simply won’t work for you. For example, you’d likely sweat profusely if you set your thermostat to 90 degrees from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fortunately, there are a number of other clever ways to think outside the (fuse) box and save energy, even while spending a majority of your time at home. Check out the following five ideas:
1. Run Sleep Mode on Your Computer
Your computer features a number of power modes to save you money on your energy bill. As House Logic notes, these include active/on, active standby and passive standby/off modes. Set up your computer to automatically go into one of these low-consumption modes when you’re away from your home office for extended time periods.
For example, this feature would bode well for your computer — and monthly utility bill — when you take a phone call with a client or go on lunch break. When you return to your desk, your computer will immediately power up and be ready for use. Then, at the end of the workday, completely shut off your computer. This approach can save you between $25 and $75 annually per computer.
2. Use a Single Backup Server
If you have multiple servers in your home, you can easily decrease your energy consumption by switching to one central server. To protect your computers — and all your important work — back up everything on the server through a cloud-based service provider like Mozy.
Mozy’s user-friendly, energy-efficient software allows you to decide when to perform any backups and which specific files you want protected. Many utility companies charge less if you use a bulk of electricity at certain times of the day; if this is the case for you, schedule your backups to run when rates are at their lowest.
3. Consider Switching to a Laptop
Laptops offer more than easy portability and user-friendly designs — they’re also much more energy efficient than their desktop counterparts. As Homeselfe.com notes, laptops use up to 80 percent less power than desktops. So, if you’re in the market for a new computer, investing in a laptop will help save you money on your electric bills.
4. Invest in a Power Strip for Easy On/Off Savings
Your computer, printer and other home office electronics continue to use energy, even when they’re turned off. Solve this issue by plugging all your electronics into a power strip instead of an outlet. As a bonus, you won’t have to go around turning off multiple machines at the end of the day. Instead, simply flip on the switch to your power strip and immediately start saving money.
5. Think Before You Print
While you might be accustomed to printing your invoices, important emails from the boss and other documents, cutting back on this practice will save energy, along with protecting trees. Store your invoices and work-related paperwork as files on your computer and access or email them to clients when appropriate. Ultimately, you’ll spend less on printer power and paper — which is definitely good for Mother Earth.