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January 22, 2020

Energy Saving Tips for Freelancers

Written by Jack Lewis

Big Energy Saving Week

Did you know that this week is Energy Saving Week? We know what you’re thinking. No gym for you. Another excuse to stay on the sofa with some biscuits, a cup of tea, and some Monty Don on the TV in the background. But we’re not talking about saving your own energy. We’re talking about energy saving tips for freelancers: cutting down on your energy bills and enabling you to save money and do your bit for the environment whilst you’re at it.

It’s probably fair to assume that most readers of this blog­­ are as concerned as we are about the climate crisis we find ourselves in. Our world is at a critical juncture, and even the smallest contribution is worth making. We often hear people say that it’s only governments and big corporations who can make a difference when it comes to the climate emergency, but that isn’t true. We all have a role to play.

On a more personal level, we know that saving energy as a freelancer might not be at the top of your to-do list when you’re running up against deadlines or chasing late payments, but turning off all your plug sockets at night or having shorter showers in the morning can have a significant impact on the amount you pay towards your bills each month. As a freelancer, those savings could be crucial.

One last thing. Although Energy Saving Week, and the publicity around it, give us a great opportunity to publish something like this (it goes without saying) the tips we’ve included should be put into practice all year round. Many freelancers work from home, a luxury that most other workers don’t have. Let’s make the most of it.

Change your lightbulbs

Here’s a bright idea (sorry.) In the darker, shorter days of winter, it’s tempting to fall into the trap of keeping your lights on all the time – especially if you don’t have much natural daylight coming into your home. Energy-saving lightbulbs can make a big difference. They’re now much cheaper and much easier to buy, and replacing just one old lightbulb with an energy-saving one can save you as much as £50 over the lifetime of the bulb. And they last up to 12 times longer too. What have you got to lose?

Turn down the heating

Full disclosure: this blog is being written with the aid of a very cosy blanket and a very warm cat. Unnecessary information? Perhaps. But it does show that, despite the icy winter weather, it’s possible to work from home without the thermostat turned all the way up. We’re not saying you should turn it off, but turning the heating down by just one degree could cut your heating bills by 10% and save you up £85 a year.

Shutdown or standby?

We all do it. Whether it’s leaving your computer to sleep rather than shutting it down or leaving your TV on standby rather than turning it off at the wall, we’ve all become accustomed to the convenience of having our appliances ready to go as soon as we need them. But did you know that the average UK household spends an average of an extra £35 a year by leaving their electrical goods on standby? Or that leaving a laptop on charge after the battery is already full costs around an extra £3 a year? Small change, sure, but it all adds up.

Watch your water

From washing our clothes to washing our dishes to washing ourselves, we use more water than we think every day. But there are some easy changes you can make. Washing up all those empty teacups using a bowl rather than keeping the tap running in the sink could save you up to £25 a year. In researching this piece, we were also surprised to learn that it’s possible to get a more energy-efficient shower head, saving you up to £18 a year in energy bills.

Whilst you’re there, why not invest in a shower timer too? Cutting just one minute off your usual shower time can save you £7 per year, as well as giving your daily wash a pleasing sense of countdown-induced urgency.

And when it comes to the washing machine, why not try dropping from 40 degrees down to 30? Cutting out one wash per week will also save you around £5 a year on your annual energy bill.

That’s not all

We could carry on. From draught-proofing to boiler insulation jackets to filling up your kettle with just the right amount of water, there are any number of small steps freelancers can take to save energy (and money) whilst you’re working from home. Even if you just decided to take note of the tips we’ve included above, you’d already save up to £228 a year. That’s enough for a very a nice blanket indeed.

And whilst we’re on the subject of saving money, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention what Dinghy can do for you. Our freelancer insurance cover is completely flexible. You can turn it on or off, up or down – whenever it suits you. Only pay for what you need, when you need it. And it’s all manageable at the flick of a switch through our app or on our website. Why not get a quote now? Just make sure to shut your computer down when you’ve finished. Every little action counts.

About Jack Lewis

Read more blog posts by Jack Lewis

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