What are the extra electricity costs of working from home?

Working from home could see you spend up to $340 more per quarter on their energy bills.

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The number of Australians working from home has doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the University of Sydney's 2020 Transport Opinion Survey. If you're one of these people, you might have noticed your most recent energy bills have been higher than you're used to.

How much extra do you spend on energy when working from home?

When you're at home, you foot the bill for all the energy you use that would normally be covered by your employer. So how much would one person working from home add to their energy bill every 3 months? We've crunched the numbers and found that one person could add an extra:

$340 in summer

When you add up:

  • Home office
  • Entertainment
  • Kitchen use
  • Aircon

$324 in winter

When you add up:

  • Home office
  • Entertainment
  • Kitchen use
  • Heating

Home office costs: $35.90 (if you use a laptop)


Entertainment: $13.91


Kitchen: $41.34


Heating/cooling an extra 4 hours a day: $233.80 to $250.20


How can I save on energy when working from home?

Here are three things you can do to cut your power consumption when working from home:

  • Heat or cool for one hour less per day. As you can see from our analysis above, heating and cooling are the worst offenders when it comes to energy costs. Running your aircon for one hour less could save you about $50 every quarter, or adjusting your thermostat a couple of degrees higher or lower could save about the same.
  • Disable standby mode. Electronic devices continue to use a small amount of power when plugged in, but not in active use. Luckily, modern energy standards mean this passive consumption is pretty low, but turning things off at the wall can save you money nonetheless.
  • Change energy plans. If you're like most Australians, chances are you aren't on the cheapest energy plan available to you. Comparing providers and switching could help you save on your energy bill, even while using the same amount of extra energy working from home.

Can I deduct my energy bills from tax when working from home?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ATO has put in place a special shortcut method for claiming working from home expenses, including your energy bill. We've broken this method down for you here.

What can I do if I'm struggling with paying my energy bills?

There are two main types of assistance for customers who are struggling with their energy bills during the coronavirus period and beyond:

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