Friday, September 16, 2022

Working from home energy bill myths debunked

There's been a lot of screaming and shouting in some of the media who, for various reasons, are opposed to the move towards shedworking, working from home in particular, and hybrid working in general. The Telegraph in particular has been arguing that the increase in energy bills is going to mean it'll be cheaper to go back to the traditional commute - its "analysis" claimed that working from home will mean £2,500+ a year rises in energy bills, and that commuters would save £1,500 by heading back to the office. 

Not so say various expert independent commentators. Here's what Full Fact concludes:

This figure comes from a flawed calculation, which assumes that the cost of energy used each month is as high as it is in January... In short, although people’s commuting costs will vary widely—from almost nothing to several thousand pounds—the Telegraph’s calculations do not reliably show that on average people who commute to work “are still likely to be better off by £1,500”, or indeed that commuting to work will on average be cheaper than working from home and paying additional energy costs.

 And here's Channel 4's Fact Check:

Using the limited evidence available, we tentatively estimate that working from home would add about £50 a month to energy bills between October and December – though the precise amount will depend on a range of factors. If our calculations are right, workers in many parts of the country may find the extra energy bills are still lower than the cost of commuting to work.

There's a good article about the debate at the Guardian by Jane Parry, Can the working from home model survive the energy crisis?


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