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Ways to save on energy bills if you’ve been working from home

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

If you’ve been using extra gas and electricity working from home there are ways to save.

Millions of Australians have been working from home during the pandemic, which means for many their bills have skyrocketed.

Flatmates Miles and Rashad, who work in marketing and environment, have both been working from their place in Sydney for the past seven months.

The pair have been using extra electricity and gas to keep the lights on, plug in their computers and heat up their meals at home.

Many Australians have seen a spike in electricity bills while working from home.

"Compared to this time last year, July time, we're up about 150 per cent on average," Miles told 9News.

Their gas bill increased from $23 to $100; while electricity jumped from $127 up to $317.

Electricity and gas usage have increased 24 per cent across the country compared to the pre-pandemic period.

The largest cost of working from home has been heating.

"It all adds up, if you've got three, four, five people in your home, all those small numbers together add up to a lot more usage," Fred van der Tang from Make it Cheaper told 9News.

Mr van der Tang encouraged people to shop around and look at changing energy providers.

"We're seeing on average, customers who shop around, and compare and switch can save up to $400 a year."

If people are yet to do their tax return, getting an accountant to look at it rather than using the government's simplified method could also help households save money.

"About 95 per cent of our clients are actually worse off if they claim the 80 cents rate," Mark Chapman from H&R Block told 9News.

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According to ATO guidelines: "You can claim a deduction of 80 cents for each hour you worked from home in the 2019–20 income year during the period 1 March to 30 June 2020" on two conditions.

You "were working from home to fulfil your employment duties and not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls", and you "incurred additional running expenses as a result of working from home."

Source: 9News

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