Should Your Work Contribute to Your Heating Bills While You Work From Home?
Working from home has become the new normal for many of us. But are you aware of how much energy you’re using while working from home?
While businesses may be using less energy during the Covid-19 pandemic, daytime home energy usage has risen by nearly 30%. Many people have found that their home energy bills have increased, especially now that the weather is getting colder.
The Energy Saving Trust has extensive guidance on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home. But should your employer help you? Do companies have a responsibility to help their homeworkers improve the efficiency of their homes now that they no longer work in the office? Many companies have reimbursed employees for home office expenses purchased for their work from home setup. Should this reimbursement extend to utility bills?
Unfortunately, this reimbursement is a tricky area for employers to enter. Case law implies an obligation to provide a suitable working environment for employees. However, employers must also respect employee privacy – many people do not wish for their employer to know private information such as living arrangements, bill paying and energy usage.
It is also difficult to fairly compensate everyone. Working from home might be saving some employees lots on commuting costs but not others. When it comes to heating, some employees may have it on all the time and some may barely use it.
So, companies are facing difficult decisions when it comes to developing homeworking policies. Rather than venturing into paying a proportion of employee heating bills, employers will instead encourage them to use the Government work from home tax relief scheme. This is a £6 a week tax-free payment for those now working from home. More information here (link to save on your heating blog).
Employers are still eager to be seen cutting the carbon emissions of their workforce because the Government monitors the decarbonisation efforts of large companies to mitigate climate change. The best way they could do this for work from home employees would be to offer a service to improve the efficiency of each of their employee’s heating systems.
ThermaFY Eco Solutions provides this service. We offer a heating efficiency survey that employers can purchase for their employees as an opt-in service for analysing the energy efficiency of their home.
ThermaFY uses cutting edge software to analyse thermal images of a heating system to identify any issues affecting the efficiency of a property.
We survey your heating system after which we recommend the work needed to solve any inefficiencies. Here we provide guidance on receiving grants and how you can get your employer to support you with installation costs. A second survey is done after the works have been completed to verify that the heating system is running more efficient and it will cost less to run.
We produce a ThermaFY energy efficiency report to quantify the energy usage and environmental impact of your heating before and after work has been done. It provides evidence to the employee that their heating bills have decreased and data on the reduction of environmental impact can be provided to the employer, keeping everyone happy.
To find out more, get in touch here.
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