Working from home may provide a number of benefits for the employee, employer and even the environment, but new figures in a study by the Wikipower price comparison firm suggest that those who telecommute are seeing a marked increase in their utility bills.
Those who work from home are consuming more electricity through the use of lighting, appliances such as computers, and heating during cold spells, which in some cases can also push up the gas bill.
According to Sudinfo, in Wallonia – for teleworkers who heat with electricity – their bill could show an additional cost of around €5.34 (one day of telework per week) to €26.71 (5 days a week at home) per month, an increase of 43.6% compared to March 2022. This amount would be between €2.43 and €12.17 per month in the case of gas heating, a 19.9% increase.
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If you live in Brussels, the increases range from €4.98 to €24.88 per month for teleworkers if they heat only with electricity, and from €2.31 to €11.56 per month if their boiler runs on gas. Compared to March 2022 prices, this is an increase of 47.6% for electricity, and 22.4% for gas.
According to a 2022 survey by FPS Mobility and Transport, the majority of Belgian teleworkers work one to two days per month in the three regions of the country (57%). However, the share of teleworkers who work three to four days at home, or even five or more, is not negligible (32% and 11% respectively at the national level).