The Cost Of Working From Home

3 min read

Enjoying working from home? It could be costing you up to £676 more a year in household bills.

With many of us embracing the new wave of working from home, it has been widely reported that the change in how we work can go a long way towards improving work-life balance, productivity, and overall wellbeing. But, can you put a price on a newfound ‘happiness’ with working from home?

Recent research conducted by Harvey Water Softeners indicates that the 60% of UK homes in hard water areas could be paying an additional £676 a year on energy and water bills, as a direct result of working from home.

Taking into account the increase in household water usage during Covid, which was up by 46% in March 2020, those in hard water areas could have produced an additional 418,600 tonnes of limescale between March 2020 and March 2021 – meaning the total estimated amount of limescale build-up reached a staggering 910,000 tonnes in the last year alone.

This has the potential to directly impact annual water and energy bills if you are a hard water household, with new analysis by Harvey Water Softeners finding that those living in hard water areas could have paid up to £676 more in gas, electricity, and water bills during the Covid-19 crisis (March 2020-March 2021).

With recent research from YouGov[1] suggesting 70% of workers would “never return to offices at the same rate” as prior to the pandemic, the working from home trend is one we can expect to see continue for the foreseeable future. If you live in a hard water area, considering how this could impact your annual energy bills will be essential.

Couple this with the recent news around energy providers collapsing and many consumers being left in the dark as to how much their energy bills will cost during the winter months, and the data we have collated paints a troublesome picture for UK households – particularly the 13 million in hard water areas.

This is where knowledge will be key. If you aren’t sure which type of water you have in your area, you can use our Hard Water Index to find this out.

If you do find you are living in a hard water area, one way of preventing your energy bills from increasing is to install a water softener. Water softeners reduce limescale build-up over the long-term meaning that you won’t be faced with increased bills.

It’s also worthwhile having your boiler checked, if you are a hard water household, to see if it has incurred any damage as a result of the various lockdowns. Hard water can significantly impact the health of your boiler and it’s likely that, if you live in a hard water area, increased limescale build-up during Covid could have damaged it further. Again, if there are signs of limescale damage, your best option is to tackle the issue at the source by installing a water softener.

You can take advantage of a three-month free trial of a Harvey water softener to see how softened water improves the health of your boiler and, longer term, reduces the amount you are paying on your monthly bills.


[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58559179