I just received my electricity bill, which is the first one that completely encompasses an entire cycle where I was working from home. There’s some good data to compare now. Let’s break it down compared to my last bill:
|Dates||Days||Usage||Avg. daily usage||Cost|
|Feb. 5 – Apr. 1||56||357 kWh||6.38 kWh||$63.40|
|Apr. 1 – Jun. 3||63||522 kWh||8.29 kWh||$83.27|
So, the previous billing cycle includes the first two weeks when I worked from home, from mid-March on, thus the data isn’t completely clean. The comparison is still quite useful however. You can see a dramatic jump in the amount of electricity I used when I started to work from home. Just looking at the average daily usage, it’s about a 30% increase compared to the previous billing period where I was actually physically at work most days. In the “before times”, I was usually out of my home between around 9am to about 6:30pm each day, during that time I’m using minimal amounts of electricity at home.
Now, I’m home all day, using electricity for more hours of the day. On a normal work from home day, I have my desktop computer on, plus two monitors, and then my laptop. I also have a desk lamp on. When I’m at work, I normally have my hot water dispenser off. Now that I’m home all the time, this stays on from morning until I go to bed. On top of this, I cook way more than I did before. During this current billing period, nearly all my meals that I ate were prepared at home. That means my electric stove and convection toaster oven were all in use to make those meals.
Now you might be wondering where this increased cost of electricity falls in the grand scheme of all things financial. On average, this wound up being an extra $10 a month in electricity but that is offset by a whole bunch of other savings. Not having to pay for a transit pass, which was about $100 a month for me, already makes up for that. Preparing many more meals at home does use more electricity but the savings from not going to restaurants more than pays for itself. It’s definitely a fair trade. Lastly, my employer has recognized that some of our expenses have gone up. To combat this, they have decided to supplement our income by an $300 or so every quarter to pay for such things. This will last until our various locations are deemed safe to return to.