working from home energy consumption

Working from Home is Increasing Your Energy Consumption up to 63%

67 per cent of us are working from home full-time or partially, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies. While you might enjoy the extra sleep-in and the comfort of wearing pyjama pants all day, how’s your electricity bill faring?

Instead of your work copping the bill for all your screen use and those trips to the kitchen to make a cuppa, now it falls onto you. So how much is working from home adding to your home’s energy consumption exactly? And are there ways we can reduce it?

Breaking Down the Average Household Electricity Usage

To understand how working from home will affect your energy bill, we need to break down the average household electricity usage in Australia. This will vary from house to house depending on their power usage and whether they use gas too.

Heating and cooling is the biggest energy user in the average Australian home, accounting for 40 per cent of your home’s energy usage! This is followed by your appliances at 30 per cent, hot water at 23 per cent, and lighting at 7 per cent.

average household electricity usage

Working from home, you can expect your energy usage across all these categories to increase. How much though?

Average Household Energy Consumption Australia Working from Home

Working from home full-time for two weeks could add $30 to your energy bill, according to Canstar Blue. That works out to $3 per day, or $15 per week. Energy Networks Australia has reported a similar cost per day for the average Australian working from home – $2.78 per day, or $13.90 per week.

This is on top of the average household energy consumption in Australian homes. Energy bills vary state by state – Victorians can expect to pay approximately $1012 annually, while those living in South Australia are up for $1444 each year.

For simplicity, we’ll look at an annual energy bill in between these two at $1228. That works out to $23.62 per week. Add in the extra $13.90-15.00 per week for working from home and that’s bumped up to $37.52-38.62.

weekly electricity cost working from home
Source: Energy Networks Australia

Working from home for a week increases your home’s energy bill by 58 to 63 per cent for that week. Where does this increase come from? Let’s break it down per day.

Heating and Cooling

The biggest energy guzzler in your home, regardless of whether you’re working from home or not, is your heating and cooling. Depending on your climate, it can account for 20 to 50 per cent of your home’s electricity consumption.

Using a split system in a medium-sized room (36m3) for a meagre four hours during the workday will cost you approximately $2.00. This will vary depending on the temperature settings, the external temperature, how well insulated your home is, and more.

Home Office

Running a home office for eight hours a day will set you back approximately 18-19 cents per day. There are a lot of different components that go into a home office, including:

  • typical 13″ laptop – $0.03
  • one computer monitor – $0.06
  • phone charging – $0.01
  • heating water to boiling in a kettle for 5 minutes – $0.05
  • printer printing for ten minutes – $0.02
  • two LED lights running for four hours – $0.02

This is just the typical home office setup, however, and will differ from house to house with different setups and equipment. Few of us are only working eight hour days too.


Whether it’s for work or play, our home entertainment appliance usage has definitely increased. Four hours a day of using your TV and gaming console will set you back roughly $0.40 and $0.20 respectively.

cost of working from home
Source: Energy Networks Australia

How to Calculate the Cost of Electricity Consumption

These dollar values are calculated using the average home’s energy consumption and electricity tariffs. This won’t match up to your situation perfectly. You can calculate the cost of electricity consumption by appliances in your home with reasonable accuracy.

All you need is these three things:

  • The electricity consumption of the appliance in Watts.
  • Your electricity tariff in cents per kWh (you can find this on your energy bill).
  • The amount of time the appliance is used.

how to calculate electricity costs

Your energy bill is made up of more than just the kWh pricing. You also need to factor in the supply charge – the daily fee that you’re charged just for having electricity readily available and connected, regardless of your energy usage.

Using these equations, you can calculate the cost of working from home for your household specifically. You can also identify the biggest electricity guzzlers in your home and see if you can minimise their use.

How to Reduce Electricity Consumption Working from Home

While many of your working from home costs are tax-deductible, it’s still in your best interests to reduce your electricity consumption. Here are a few targeted ways you can reduce electricity consumption while working from home.

Set Your Air Con Temperature Right

ideal air conditioner temperature

If you’re waiting until the hottest part of the day to put your air con on full blast, you could be spending a lot more on your heating and cooling than you need to. In summer, the ideal cooling temperature is 25-27°C. In winter, it’s 18-20°C.

When cooling, every degree that you lower the temperature is an extra 10 per cent of electricity you need to pay for. As the biggest contributor to your working from home cost, you can make a big difference here by using your air conditioner strategically. This means setting it to the right temperature and turning it on early rather than later in the day when it’s already too late.

Don’t Overuse Appliances Unnecessarily

We’ve all paused an episode on Netflix to go do something else, only to forget and come back hours later with the TV still on. While you might not have been using your TV, you still need to pay for the electricity it used while you were gone.

The same goes for simple things like overfilling the kettle when boiling it. The more water in the kettle, the longer it takes to boil.

Only using your appliances for as long as you need them and not any longer can make a small difference when your next energy bill comes around.

Natural Lighting Over Artificial

Why pay to use your lights when the sun can naturally illuminate your workspace? RRelying on natural lighting rather than artificial lights during the day is a simple and effective way to reduce your electricity consumption.

Check Your Devices’ Settings

standby and sleep mode on devices

Most devices enter a power-saving mode when left unattended for too long by default. Tweaking these settings could help you save even more power though.

Reducing the amount of time before the device enters sleep or standby mode is an easy way to reduce its energy consumption.

Don’t Charge Your Devices All Day

Sitting right next to the powerpoint, you might be tempted to leave your laptop and phone plugged in and charging all day. Save yourself the higher energy bill and only charge them when they’re low!

Negotiate a Better Price or Plan

If you’re working from home and having to pay for extra electricity consumption, you want to be sure you’re on the best possible plan with your energy provider. Switching to a cheaper provider could have even greater savings!

Many state governments have also introduced rebates or vouchers to offer assistance to those struggling.

Work from Home Tax Deductions

claim working from home expenses on tax

When tax time rolls around, get a little cashback by claiming working from home expenses. As an employee, you can make a claim if you meet all the following criteria:

  • you personally spent the money
  • the expense is directly related to earning your income
  • you have a record to prove it
  • your employer did not provide the item
  • you were not reimbursed for it

This means you can claim your electricity expenses that are related to working from home. This includes heating and cooling, lighting, and appliances/devices related to your work.

Whatever your working situation is, there is a workaround to keep working from home cost-effective. Whether you try to reduce your overall household electricity consumption or switch to a cheaper plan, working from home doesn’t have to significantly increase your average daily electricity usage.

Published: 2021-10-22

Labour Day with Electrical Contractors

No Extra Charge After Hours

Metropolitan is available 24/7 for all your electrical requirements. Offering round-the-clock service, no additional weekend or public holiday charges, and flexible finance options**, your peace of mind is assured.

Book Now

Electricians You Can Trust

Our Promise to You

Our electricians pride themselves with honest reliable services


We believe in transparency. We will guide you through our process, answer your questions and provide you with upfront, no obligation fixed prices.

Committed to provide excellent and efficient electrical services


No matter how big or small the job is, whether you're a new or returning customer, we treat every job as important and strive for success.

Professional Expert Electrical Technicians


We know our job site is your home and we completely respect that. We arrive neat and clean, and tidy up after we've completed the job.

Electrician Zip Pay Payment Options Image
Electrician Zip Pay Payment Options Image

Now Available!

Electrical finance options** with trusted pay later options

What Our Happy Customers Have to Say

Better service starts here

5 stars rating img

Simon was very professional and did excellent work. Provided clear explanations and very informative options for the job. An excellent result was achieved. Thanks again Simon for your help!

Paul - SA
5 stars rating img

Ferris was on time and very professional. He understood straight away what was going on. He fixed the issue with my lights and even did a full electrical inspection. Very happy.

Andrew - VIC
5 stars rating img

Angelo changed some circuits on my board that were damaged and causing the power to go off. He fixed it quickly and explained the damage. Absolute champion.

Kaye - SA
  • HMP Hot Water Logo

    HPM are leaders in the Australian electrical industry and Metropolitan is available 24/7 to install and repair their products.

  • Wilson Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors has experts at installing, repairing and servicing all Wilson electric hot water systems.

  • Thermann Hot Water Logo

    When you need an expert in Thermann electric hot water products, contact your local specialists.

  • Vulcan Hot Water Logo

    When you need an expert in Vulcan's electric hot water systems, contact your local specialists.

  • Stiebel Eltron Hot Water Logo

    We work with Stiebel Eltron electric hot water systems. When you need service you can trust, call Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • Schneider Electric Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is your local Schneider Electric specialist.

  • Rinnai Hot Water Logo

    When you need an expert in Rinnai's electric hot water systems, contact your local specialists.

  • Rheem Hot Water Logo

    Did you know Metropolitan Electrical Contractors can install, service and repair all Rheem electric hot water systems?

  • Philips Hot Water Logo

    For fast and efficient Philips electrical services, Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is your number one local expert.

  • Pierlite Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to use high quality brands such as Pierlite.

  • OMEGA Hot Water Logo

    If you're after quality OMEGA electrical products for your home or business, call the experts at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • OSRAM Hot Water Logo

    OSRAM electrical products are highly recommended by the expert team at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • NHP Hot Water Logo

    Need an electrical expert who works with the NHP brand? Look no further than your local Metropolitan Electrical Contractors electricians.

  • Hager Hot Water Logo

    When you need an expert in Hager electrical products you need Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • Legrand Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to work with high quality brands such as Legrand.

  • Crompton Lighting Hot Water Logo

    We are proud to work with high quality products such as Crompton Lighting. Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is a name you can trust.

  • Dux Hot Water Logo

    When you need a Dux electric hot water installation, service or repair, call the team at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • Clipsal Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to work with high quality brands such as Clipsal.

  • Bosch Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors are experts at installing, repairing and servicing Bosch electric hot water systems.

  • Chromagen Hot Water Logo

    Did you know that Metropolitan Electrical Contractors supply, install and repair Chromagen electric hot water systems?

  • AquaMAX Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors choose Australian owned and operated AquaMAX for a range of electric hot water services.

metropolitan electrical contractors Service Reviews metropolitan electrical contractors service reviews