Daytime heating could see homeworkers’ utility bills rise up to £107* as winter approaches, our research suggests.
With offices expected to remain predominantly closed as the colder weather draws in, those working at home could see their utility bills hike up by almost a fifth (18%) of their usual amount, warming their home when they would otherwise be vacant.
Altogether, homeworking come the winter could see the nation’s energy bills rise up to as much as £1.9 billion between October 2020 and March 2021.
While not everyone will be working from home five days a week, we broke down how much would be spent depending on how many days people worked from home.
Typically, a homeworker's winter energy bill will increase on average £21 by working from home one day a week during the winter. Working from home four days a week would add £84 to a homeworker’s energy bill, three days £64, and two days £43.
Our research follows earlier research we conducted, which unearthed the fact many were already in debt with their energy supplier following increased energy use at home since the lockdown began in March. We have predicted that consumers could already be in debt by up to £94 per household, which is a staggering £2 billion nationwide. This information comes at a time when most consumers would normally be in credit with their suppliers going into the winter.
|DAYS SPENT WORKING FROM HOME||The average winter energy bill would increase by a total of||The energy cost of days spent working from home||The energy cost of the days spent working at the office/weekend days||Winter energy bill total||Cost vs the average winter dual fuel bill (based on new winter SVT price cap)|
|5 DAYS A WEEK||£107.18||£536.29||£171.64||£707.93||+17.8%|
|4 DAYS A WEEK||£85.75||£429.03||£257.46||£686.50||+14.27%|
|3 DAYS A WEEK||£64.31||£321.77||£343.29||£665.06||+10.07%|
|2 DAYS A WEEK||£42.87||£214.52||£429.11||£643.62||+7.14%|
|1 DAY A WEEK||£21.44||£107.26||£514.93||£622.19||+3.57%|
We’re calling on energy suppliers and Ofgem to do all they can to support struggling customers. We also advise consumers to provide their supplier with an up-to-date meter reading to ensure accurate billing, while also checking they are on the cheapest tariff possible in order to help them cut back on energy costs.
Tom Lyon, Director of Energy here at Energy Helpline, says:
“With many offices expected to be partially or completely closed over autumn and winter, millions face a worrying hike in bills from working at home at the time of year when we use most energy. In addition, consumers paying by Direct Debit should normally now be in credit ahead of winter, but are finding themselves already in debt from spending more time at home since March.”
“It’s vital that energy suppliers and Ofgem do all they can to support consumers who are struggling to pay spiralling energy bills. Customers who are worried should ensure they switch to the cheapest tariff and contact their supplier about ways they can help.”
*Research conducted by Energy Helpline