How much electricity does it take to run my home office?

I’ve been working from home for the last 16 months since the COVID-19 outbreak started in Ireland, and I was curious about how much electricity it takes to power my home office setup.

There are various different power costs associated with working from home. There’s the electricity it takes to power the computer and peripherals on my desk. And there’s also the power it takes to heat or cool the house, which might increase when I’m home all day.

But for now, I’m just going to concentrate on the electricity costs associated with everything on the desk in my office – mostly because it’s the easiest thing for me to measure!

My current home office setup consists of:

  • a laptop
  • 2 monitors,
  • a USB dock/hub
  • a Google Nest Hub
  • 3 LED lamps
  • an amplifier that I use to play music through desktop speakers
  • a USB charging hub for phones and other devices

It’s not the most minimal of setups. Technically I don’t need quite so much electronics on my desk to get my work done, but I do find all the different bits of kit help my productivity. And I must admit, I’m not the best at turning things off after I’ve finished work for the day – so the laptop, monitors, and other devices continue drawing power during the night.

So what’s the power impact of having all this tech?

Well, it’s actually quite easy to measure. Everything is run from a big power strip connected to a single wall socket. So I use this smart plug from TP-Link with energy monitoring built-in to allow me to monitor how much electricity is used.

The full set-up uses on average about 120 watts of power when everything is switched on and I’m working, but that figure drops to less than 30 watts when I’ve finished work and the laptop and monitors are sleeping and the LED lights are switched off.

It equates to about 1 kWh of electricity used per working day. And at the moment in Ireland, it costs around 20 cents per kWh (including VAT), so it’s costing me about €0.20 per day for the electricity to run my home office – or about one euro per week.

It’s actually not as much as I thought it would be.

An average household in Ireland uses around 4,200 kWh of electricity per year, and so the approx. 300 kWh that my home office uses per year isn’t that large in comparison – and only adds about €60 to annual electricity bill.