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Working from home will cost homeowners £144 a month

Research conducted by finance guidance and comparison website Forbes Advisor has found that customers on a standard variable rate tariff (SVT) are set to experience a 25% (£29) increase in their monthly energy costs, compared to the same time one year ago.

This would take the monthly bill up to £144 for the winter months, when the heating is likely to be on during working hours.

Forbes Advisor studied common appliances used when working from home in the winter, or those which are used more frequently, to determine how much energy such appliances use per hour and how many hours they are used per day.

The cost increases were then calculated using the two standard variable rate price cap hikes in the past 12 months, which occurred in April and October. All this information relates to customers on a standard variable rate tariff – that’s over a third of bill payers (39%), or 11 million UK households.

Cumulatively working from home energy consumption equates to £144 per month on average during the winter.

The comparison site has provided information on average costs for six household appliances, based on a three bedroom house, most commonly used when working from home during the winter:

2020                                                  2021

  • Radiator/Heating (6 hours/day)                                                              £100.08                                             £126.00
  • Radio/TV in background (6 hours/day)                                                 £7.60                                                  £9.60
  • Charging laptop (8 hours/day)                                                                £3.42                                                  £4.32
  • Light bulb (6 hours/day)                                                                          £1.71                                                  £2.16
  • Kettle (15 minutes/day)                                                                           £2.14                                                  £2.70
  • Oven (30 minutes/day)                                                                            £2.07                                                  £6.61

The energy price cap regulates how much energy companies can charge for each unit of gas and electricity they supply. If a household uses a typical amount of energy in a year – around 12,000 kWh for gas and 3,100 kWh for electricity – then their capped bills should come in at £1,277.

However, because the cap relates to the price of each unit, the actual bill will always be determined by the amount of energy used.