At Least Your Job Saved Money on Electric Bills during the Pandemic? Did You?
There are plenty of reasons why you might dread heading back to the office, but your home electricity bill isn’t one of them.
Many of us worked remotely this past year rather than in our offices — have shouldered larger electricity expenses than usual as they stayed home, charged their computers and phones, and kept the lights on. Their offices, in turn, saved money on electricity.
Increased electric bills meant many of us were having to shell out more money during a precarious economic time. Of course, that could be balanced out by less money spent on commuting to and from work, depending on your situation.
What’s more, after the 2017 tax overhaul under former President Donald Trump, employees are unable to claim federal tax deductions for their home offices, even as their employers — whose offices have sat empty — can. While not available for federal taxes, several states offer their own tax breaks for employee expenses. Some employers also reimburse work-from-home costs, and some states require them to do so.
And there are also other issues at play than electricity. Staying at home and not commuting helped contribute to a rare decline in greenhouse gas emissions during the pandemic and saved many hours in transit. (But working from home has meant longer workdays and more meetings, as well, so perhaps it’s a wash.)
Either way, this trend may not last much longer, since many of us will be heading back to the office this summer or fall.
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