Working from home will add £131 a month to your energy bill
Employees will pay an extra £131 a month in energy costs to work from home this autumn, as a result of the energy price cap.
Comparison and switching service Uswitch found those who spend less than £30 on their weekly commute could in fact save money by going into their workplace.
Its findings follow the news on Friday that Ofgem, the utilities regulator, has set the energy price cap at £3,549 from 1 October 2022. This represents an 80% increase from the previous price cap of £1,971 which was set in April, and is down to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has caused wholesale energy prices to soar.
A typical household will run up a £363 monthly bill for gas and electricity under the new price cap set for October. Those working from home will use more energy than those who leave the house empty all day. Full-time workers are estimated to increase their daily gas use by 75%, as they put the heating on for an extra 10 hours a day during the coldest months, while electricity use is predicted to rise by 25% as meals are cooked at home and hot drinks are prepared.
Larger households which use more energy are likely to pay £513 a month, rising to £698 for those working from home. These households would save money if their total weekly commuting costs added up to less than £46, Uswitch said.
Those who live in smaller homes, like flats, are likely to pay £243 on average a month for their energy bill, rising to £330 for those working from home. For those who fit into this category, it is likely to be cheaper to work from home unless they pay less than £20 a week on commuting costs.
Looking ahead to January
The situation is likely to get even tougher from January, when the price cap is predicted to rise to £5,386. This would mean that the average household would pay £580 a month for their energy, compared to £789 for those who are working from home, Uswitch said. This extra £209 a month cost makes the weekly commute break-even point £49.
Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch, said: “The amount of extra energy home workers use will vary, but we estimate that people at home for an extra 50 hours per week could use about 25% more electricity and 75% more gas per day this winter.
“Based on this, for workers who don’t have an expensive commute, working from the office is likely to be more economical this winter.”