With Boris Johnson announcing the UK’s official Lockdown on 23rd March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of you will have been used to working from home for a while now. You may well have got past the initial shock and stress of this very unusual situation, and adapted to your new life in quarantine, however, have you thought about what you let behind in your previous place of work.
Now is the time more than ever to think about cutting the costs of the services you are using whilst having more time at home, this is especially important for small business owners who are being hard hit by the current pandemic. There are several steps you can take to keep in control of unnecessary spends without doing very much.
HAVE A THINK
Was everything in your office turned off before you left?
Now you’re probably thinking this is rather dramatic and that a small office fridge is a pretty small and unthreatening item regarding your utility bills, if left on for a long period of time. Well think again! A typical fridge of about 400-500 litres can use an estimate of 495kWh of electricity per annum equating to around £131. At a running cost of nearly £11 a month, assuming we are in lockdown for at least 3 months, by leaving your office fridge on throughout this time you could have spent an extra £33 on just one appliance.
Computers and Monitors
We are all guilty of sometimes leaving our computers on overnight. This is predominantly for ease of coming back into the office in the morning and not having to wait half an hour for our emails to restart on the old windows monitor, however, with the speed that lockdown measurements and ‘work at home’ policies were introduced, did you really take time to make sure all the computers and monitors were turned off at the mains before you left. The average PC needs around 1.3kWh of electricity, which roughly costs 6-7p an hour, meaning £1.56 per day. If you left one computer on in your office for the three months of lockdown (assuming that’s when it will end) you could have spent a whopping £140.40.
Did that timer get turned off or reset to summer hours? Despite having beautiful weather over the past few weeks, prior to lockdown it is likely you would have needed your heating on regularly. The cost of heating is completely dependent on how many hours a day it is set to be on for, but if you were to take it at the cost of around £50 a month for a office space, you could waste £150 over the next few months. This on top of your home bills could really start to affect your overall monthly spending.
So, by leaving just these three office appliances on over the next three months, you could be needlessly spending £323. Think where that money could go! The Cost Reduction Company would like you to set yourself an aim. Please go to your office building to see if you have switched off all your appliances – check with your IT team first to see what must be left on for business continuity. You should of course stick to the social distancing rules and if going there means you cannot do this then don’t go, but if you can then it could really benefit you in the short and long term.
As well as this, by conducting a full review of your energy bills, you could save you a significant amount of money that you didn’t even realise you were spending. Check that you are getting the right price from your energy provider. With energy prices at an all time low, now is the time to make these changes. There has been a significant reduction in oil prices, for example, having checked ours it has gone from 55.13 pence per litre to 17.00 pence per litre. Remember that energy can be reviewed in advance and if you jump on these low prices now, you will still be protected in the coming years.
Were here to help!
Here at Using Less Stuff, we have just launched our Behaviour Change Programme, so if you are struggling to get your head around the things you can do to save yourself money, there are a number of small habits you can adopt to alter your behaviour over time. If you would like to know about our cost reduction services have a look at our website for more information.
In these unprecedented times we really do want to help. By adopting small habits, you really can make significant cuts to your outgoings. If you have any queries or comments about the above article please don’t hesitate to contact us through our website – we look forward to hearing from you, but for now stay home, stay safe and get saving!