High bill, empty home? - South Central Power

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High bill, empty home?

August 7, 2017

Give your home’s energy use a vacation while you’re away

Going on vacation? Even if you plan to be away just a few days, you can save energy in your home when you travel. Here are some tips for returning home to a low energy bill.

Water heater. Turn down the temperature, so it doesn’t keep the water warm while you are away. Or, talk to an energy expert at South Central Power about turning off the water heater if you’ll be away for an extended period of time.

Thermostat. During hot weather, turn up the thermostat on your air-conditioning system, or consider shutting it off completely.


For every degree a thermostat is raised during the summer, you can save 2 to 3 percent on your electric bill. Just be sure you don’t leave pets in a home that might get too hot.

If you’re away during the winter, lower the temperature on your furnace. The house can be as cool as 50 degrees without the risk of your pipes freezing.

Refrigerator. A refrigerator is the electronic equivalent of a V-8 engine, sucking electricity like a high-performance car. Extended vacations give you a good excuse to clean out your fridge and unplug it. But if your home will only be vacant for a few days, it’s not worth the trouble to unplug the device.

Depending on food stored in your fridge, you may be able to turn the thermostat as high as 38 degrees without risking spoilage. Storing water-filled bottles in your refrigerator can prevent temperature fluctuations, which will save energy. Food in the freezer will stay frozen if the temperature remains at minus 5 degrees.

Don’t forget about those extra freezers running in garages or basements, either.

Lights. Turn off all lights in your home. You may want to install timers on one or two lights for security.

Electronics. Unless you’re recording something while away, unplug all of your electronic devices — computer, monitor and printer, TV and cable boxes, DVD player, microwave, coffee pot, and digital clocks. Any electronics with digital displays, instant-on features, or remote controls will consume energy, even if they’re not in use.

For other tips on how to save energy — and money — visit the Energy Savings Resources page on our website  or call our energy efficiency experts at 800-282-5064.