Millions of people in the U.S. work from home, and that saves energy and time by cutting out the commute. But it could also increase your home energy bills a lot unless you use energy-saving office equipment, says the U.S. Department of Energy.
DOE says using home office equipment with the Energy Star label can save you as much as 90 percent in electricity on some products. Overall, Energy Star-labeled office products use about half the electricity of standard equipment, the agency says.
Along with saving energy directly, such equipment can reduce air-conditioning loads, noise from fans and transformers, and electromagnetic field emissions from monitors.
What is Energy Star? It's a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in which various consumer products, from computers to washing machines, are measured for how efficient they are. The most efficient get the Energy Star label
So, about that home office?
An Energy Star-labeled computer uses 70 percent less electricity than computers without the designation. If left inactive, Energy Star-labeled desktop computers enter a sleep mode and use 4 watts or less. Spending a large portion of time in low-power mode not only saves energy, but helps equipment run cooler and last longer.