Working from Home Can Be Good for Environment

Telecommuting, also called teleworking, is gaining respectability in today’s business climate. Running a home based business, or working for a company but working out a home office makes sense on so many levels. Some of the main advantages to teleworking are saving the time and expense of commuting and to saving the environment.

Teleworking is becoming a mainstay in the current work environment. According to the U.S. Labor Department, about 14 million workers were telecommuting part-time in 2004 and 7 people million were running businesses from home.

Teleworking saves the expense of driving to work every day. Anyone who drives a car knows the many expenses of fuel, maintenance and insurance. While you might not want to get rid of your car, working from home can save wear and tear and the subsequent expense.

While saving the expense of driving, teleworkers also help the environment because they are not adding to carbon emissions from commuting. People who live and work out of their home are able to put their time to most efficient use while saving the expense of commuting.

Teleworkers do use energy and incur additional costs in operating their home office. Equipment like computers, lights, cell phones, fax machines and copiers all use energy. Use the equipment wisely to cut down on electric usage and energy costs.

ComEd Electric Company has recommended several tips to help the environment and to save money when working from home.

1. Pay close attention to home energy use. About 15 percent of household electricity use comes from consumer electronics.

2. Turn off or unplug any unnecessary electronics. Equipment that is left on 24 hours a day eats up energy. Turn off copiers, printer and fax machines when they are not in use.

3. Look out for phantom load. Phantom load is the energy that electronics use even when they are turned off. They may only use a small amount of energy, but it does add up. To prevent this unplug the equipment entirely.

4. Unplug any unused equipment when not being used. This includes battery chargers, power adapters and cell phone chargers.

5. Turn off lights and electronics in your home while in your home office, including stereos, video games and televisions.

6. Light your office with compact fluorescent bulbs.

7. Select office equipment that has the ENERGY STAR ® designation because it is more efficient and saves energy costs.

Managing energy usage in your home office is one of ComEd’s 12 Ways to Green campaign. The campaign aims to education customer in ways to save money and to reduce their carbon footprint.