Experts advise on how to save on your power bills as more people work from home

SEATTLE — More people in the Seattle Metro area are now working from home.

The latest census data shows about 125,000 people telecommute in 2017 --  that's a 56 percent jump in the last 10 years.

While many of these workers may be driving less, they may be paying more on their power bills.

Sara Hendrickson had to work from home both during when the Viaduct shut down and the recent snow storm.

She said one of her Seattle City Light power bills this winter floored her.

“The highest it’s ever gotten was $700, and thankfully that’s only one time,” said Hendrickson.

Hendrickson, her husband and their two dogs moved into their new home in Burien last year.

Thursday, she's getting an energy assessment walk-through with a specialist at Puget Sound Energy, the company that provides her home's heating. The service is free to all PSE customers.

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“You can easily see an extra couple of hundred dollars in your bill during the winter time because most of the heating is biggest energy user in the house,” said PSE energy specialist Cody Cook.

Cook said one of the easiest things you can do to save money is properly insulate your home and turn down the heat to about 60 degrees at night when you are sleeping or when you are out.

“You want to be nice and comfortable in your home but no reason to crank the heat up and use lots of energy when you are not home,” said Cook.

Replacing appliances from light bulbs to a heat pump can also lower energy costs, especially when you have an older home.

Hendrickson said she plans to one day remodel her 80-year-old property and turn part of it into a home office, so any way she can save is a plus.

“There’s a million other things I rather spend my money on than bills,” said Hendrickson.