Volume 16, Issue 33 | November 18, 2019

Saving Energy at Your Home Office

Lower your home office utility bill by being more energy-efficient

 
Virtual private network (VPN). Cloud services. High-speed internet. Video conferencing. All of these technological advances enable more and more employees to telecommute from home offices. In fact, according to the job search blog FlexJobs, 2.9% of the total U.S. workforce or 3.9 million people work from home at least half of the time.  Working remotely saves on commuting costs, but can increase your utility bill because you are home using energy that otherwise would be saved. Here are several tips that can help you lower your utility bill by being more energy-efficient.
 
  1. Use a laptop. Laptop computers use up to 80 percent less energy when compared to a desktop computer.

  2. Switch to LED light bulbs. Replace your traditional incandescent, fluorescent and halogen bulbs with LED ones. Not only do LEDs use approximately 50 percent less electricity, but their lifespan can be from 30,000 – 100,000 hours.

  3. Activate power save/sleep mode on devices. Go into the power management settings of your computer and printer and set their sleep modes. This mode can use up to 70 percent less energy when compared to full-power mode. Consider setting your computer monitor to sleep mode after 20 minutes of inactivity and your computer after an hour of inactivity. 

  4. Use power strips. Computers and other plugged-in devices continue to drain a small amount of energy from your outlets even when they are turned off. This “standby power” accounts for 5 to 10 percent of residential energy use. Instead of the wall outlet, plug all of your office equipment into a power strip to prevent this energy drainage. When the power strip is switched off, all devices are truly off.

  5. Use a fan or space heater. If you are the only one home during work hours, there is no need to waste energy cooling off or heating up a whole house. Consider using a fan in the summer and a space heater in the winter to stay comfortable inside your office space.

  6. Switch to a cheaper, energy-efficient supplier. An energy-efficient supplier offers energy products where various percentages of its electricity come from renewable sources such as wind farms. In addition, these energy suppliers offer fixed-rate energy options that can lead to cost savings.
 
Consider adopting some or all of these energy efficiency tips and you can help lower your home office utility bill.
 

Sources:

Pickard-Whitehead, Gabrielle (2018, November 28). 5 tips for Energy Savings in Your Home Office. Retrieved October 28, 2019, from https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/11/saving-energy-in-your-home-office.html

Reynolds, Brie (2018, March 27). The State of the Remote Job Marketplace. Retrieved October 28, 2019, from https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/state-of-the-remote-job-marketplace/

8 Advantages of LED Lighting. Retrieved October 28, 2019, from https://www.currentbyge.com/ideas/8-advantages-of-led-lighting

U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Saver - 3 Easy Tips to Reduce Your Standby Power Loads. Retrieved October 28, 2019, from https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/3-easy-tips-reduce-your-standby-power-loads
 


Editor's Note

Storage Levels Back to the 5 Year Average as the Injection Season Ends

Weekly review for November 9 - 15, 2019

 

On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that working gas in storage as of Friday, November 8, 2019 was 3,732 BCF.  This was an increase of 3 BCF from the previous week and was slightly more than what the market was expecting.  Storage levels are 491 BCF (15.1%) higher than a year ago, and 2 BCF (0.1%) higher than the 5 year average for this date.  With next week’s storage report expected to show a withdrawal, this marks the end of the injection season.  Remarkably, more than 2,600 BCF was injected into storage during this injection season, bringing storage inventories from a substantial deficit to the 5 year average back to the 5 year average level.

After a warmer than normal May, June, July, August, September and October in our region, November is off to a cooler than normal start.  Heating degree days at Washington Reagan National Airport have been approximately 45% higher than the 30 year average for the first 15 days of November.  This pattern looks to be continuing, as the NOAA 6-10 day and 8-14 day temperature outlooks are showing cooler than normal temperatures for our region.

Prices were down slightly this week.  At the end of the week, the NYMEX natural gas 12-month strip was down 2.1%, while the PJM West Hub 12-month forward curve was down 1.2%.  

 

 

This past week's market information is provided as a courtesy to our customers and is not indicative of, nor should be relied upon, as representative of future transactions. 



Weather

Local Cooling Degree Days*

 


Washington, D.C. Area Cooling Degrees Days* 

 

May - 19

Jun - 19

Jul - 19

Aug - 19

Sep - 19

 Oct - 19

 Actual

215.5 

340.5

 529.5

467.5 

346

 

 Normal

121

325

 472

423 

215

 Departure from Normal

 78%

 5%

 12%

 11%

 61%

 Warmer

Warmer 

Warmer 

Warmer

Warmer

 

*Cooling degree day (CDD) data is for the Washington, D.C. area and is calculated by comparing the day’s average temperature to a 65-degree baseline. If the day’s average temperature is below 65, there are no cooling degree days that day. If the day’s average temperature is greater than 65 degrees, then subtract 65 from the average temperature to find the number of cooling degree days.