Working From Home

Rising Power Cost Makes Working From Home More Expensive

USA – Rising electricity cost means you would save less when working from home in the United States, despite spending less on transportation, reported Fortune on Monday morning (6 June, SGT).

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, power costs in April 2022 alone increased by 11 percent on an annual basis.

That increase might not be a huge deal if you mainly or purely work from the office as your employer pays for air-conditioning and computer’s electricity, but if you work from home (WFH), the cost is shouldered by employees. And that expense could be large depending on factors like the size of the home, type of air-conditioning system, and different home maintenance variables such as window efficiency.

According to data provided to Fortune from bill pay service Doxo, Americans spent an average of US$23 more on monthly power and gas bills in the first four months of the year than they did during the same period of 2019.

On average, people across the country have forked around US$156 per month for power and US$150 a month for natural gas so far this year. Households who utilised heating oil and propane had even higher bills, averaging US$302 a month for their heating expenses in 2022.

These heftier costs weren’t even racked up during the hottest months of the year for most of the country. The US Energy Information Administration revealed that during the summer of 2020 when many Americans were under lockdown orders and worked remotely, residential electricity consumption increased 7.9 percent year-on-year. That was the fastest annual summer energy growth since 2010.

This summer, the government agency has forecasted that residential clients will use on average roughly 1,050 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per month between June and August 2022. That’s around 2.9 percent less than the summer of 2021 partly because of expected milder temperature, as well as fewer people working from home.

Meanwhile, Doxo statistics show that Americans spent about US$120 a month on average on their Internet and cable bills so far this year. That’s similar with what households here spent pre-pandemic. However, rates can differ as some employees opted to upgrade their internet connection during the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing up their monthly cost.

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