Energy bills: Household saves £325 on ‘catastrophic’ energy bills with working from home c | Personal Finance | Finance


Rosie Macdonald lives with her partner Nick in a small, semi-detached property in Leeds, which they own, and they also rent out a room to their friend, Katie. They both work from home and over the summer had average monthly gas and electricity of £151.75 a month, which are poised to vastly increase over the coming months when they turn the heating on.

They fixed their daily standing charge with British Gas in July, with their current unit rate at 36p per KWh for electricity and 10.4p per KWh for gas.

If they run their radiators for six hours a day, this adds up to a “catastrophic” figure of £299.60 to 374.50 a month, just for the five days of the working week.

But the savvy housemates will be avoiding the bulk of the extra costs, by switching their workplace to the local gym.

Rosie has become a member of their local Bannatyne Health Club, in Cardigan Fields, founded by Dragon’s Den star, Duncan Bannatyne.

For her £50 membership, she gets access to a large work space and cafe, which her partner can also use, as well as the gym’s fitness classes and spa.


“With Katie’s contribution and the gym membership hack, our bills then remain roughly the same as they are now.”

The work space at the gym has an open plan seating area, with individual tables and larger tables for groups.

Rosie believes there will be a “huge influx” of people doing something similar to what she has this winter.

She said: “I don’t know whether businesses are actually preparing enough for the quantities of people who will do this.

“It’s a sorry state that we’re living in, that these are measures that people are taking, but people are taking them.”

She urged companies to pass on the savings they are making on their bills to employees who have switched to working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rosie concluded: “The companies that have reduced their building sizes and have hot desk facilities, and have adapted, will be making massive savings on their heating and electricity.

“I do know that there are some companies who don’t know the number of staff who will be in at any given time, so they’ve got a massive empty building.

“For those that have sorted various different ways to sort that out, they’re saving a lot of money, and that should be given to the people working from home, as a fair proportion.”

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