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Energy-Saving Tips for Summer Vacation

June 30, 2015
Family at the Beach

Whether you’re headed to the beach for some fun in the sun, jetting away to visit some of the world’s most ancient cities, or driving through the mountains, summer is one of the best – and most popular – times of the year to take a vacation. And though you may be away from home, your power bills don’t get to take a vacation with you.

During the warm summer months, your home requires some energy usage to function. But there are plenty of things you can do to save energy while you’re away:

Air Conditioning and Cooling

Turn your air conditioner temperature up.

Set your A/C to 88 degrees. If you have a programmable thermostat – like a Nest Learning Thermostat™ – you can even program the thermostat to cool the house off the day you’ll be returning home.

Don’t have a programmable thermostat? Check out our blog to see which one is right for you.

Make sure your air conditioning system is prepped for summer.

Not sure how to do this? We’re here to help. Check out this article explaining how to make sure your A/C is ready to go for the warmer months.

Close the blinds and upgrade to full-coverage curtains.

This helps keep the heat from the sun from coming into your home.

Appliances

Put your water heater on “vacation mode”.

If you have a newer water heater, it likely has a feature that allows you to put it into vacation mode. If not, you can set your gas water heater to “pilot mode”. If you have an electric water heater, you can turn the breaker off or set it to its lowest temperature.

Unplug all appliances.

If an appliance is plugged in, it’s using energy. You can save a notable amount by unplugging things (or switching power strips off) while you’re gone. Your plugged in appliances are probably using more energy than you might think.

Lights

Turn off the lights.

Make sure lights are turned off, even outdoor ones. If you have safety concerns, install lights that are set off by motion or have your lights on a timer for a couple of hours per night.

Use energy-efficient lightbulbs.

If you’re going to use automatic lights while away, consider switching your bulbs to a more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

Want to take even more control of your energy this summer?

Take control of your budget by locking in a fixed energy rate!

Inevitably, your home might use some energy while you are gone, just to keep functioning. The final step is to control the cost of the energy you do use. That’s where a fixed rate can help. A fixed electric or natural gas rate locks in your rate so that when the market goes up and down, your rate won’t. Then, you can enjoy your vacation without coming home to any surprises on your energy bill.

Check fixed rates in your area.