Should you Turn off your Electricity When you Vacation to Save on Utilities?

by Tony Bruser 12/23/2019

Photo by Clint Patterson via Unsplash

It sounds like a great idea -- turn off your electricity entirely when you go on vacation and you'll dramatically slash your electric bills. While this works in theory, there are some considerations that make shutting everything down problematic for homeowners. Learning more about your options allows you to conserve energy wisely, without running into problems when you get home. Here's what you need to know about conserving power when you travel.

What to turn off -- and what to leave on when you travel:

  • HVAC System: One of the top consumers of energy in your home, reducing HVAC use while you are away will save you money. According to Duke Energy any savings you get from turning your HVAC off entirely could be reversed when you get home and have to power your entire system back up again. It will have to work extra hard to get your whole home back to a comfortable temperature. Instead of turning this off, set your system to vacation mode (most programmable thermostats have one) or to a temperature that makes your HVAC work less. You won't be home, so it does not have to be crisp and cool-- setting your thermostat to 80 can help you save money and not require an energy-consuming reboot when you get home. 
  • Hot water heater: You don't need to heat water while you are not home. Turn the temperature down or turn the unit off entirely at the fusebox, then simply turn back on or up when you get home. 
  • Fridge and Freezer: If you have any food stored at all (and most of us do) these need to stay on. If either component is empty or contains items that won't go bad (like bottled water or beverages) you can turn that component to a warmer setting to save while you are away. 
  • Water: Turning the water off can help conserve power and more importantly, prevent flooding. 
  • Electronics: If it plugs in, it consumes power, whether you are using it or not. Unplug electronics like the TV, kitchen helpers and more to cut your costs while you are away. 
  • Lights: A totally dark house lets would-be burglars know you are not home. Unplug most lamps, but leave a few on timers to boost your home security as you save. 

Learning which components of your home are essential for security and comfort -- and which can be turned off entirely -- allows you to cut your costs while you are not home. Once you return home from your vacation, you can get things going again quickly and without much downtime. 

About the Author
Author

Tony Bruser

Tony Bruser, Broker/Realtor

Welcome! This website is designed to be a simple and effective way to search San Diego real estate with ease as well as learn more about my brokerage, Prime Pacific Properties. As a real estate broker and Realtor for over 30 years I have a wealth or knowledge to share with my clients.

My wife Cheryl and I have been residents of San Diego for over 40 years.  I obtained my original real estate license in 1987.   In 1989 I became a licensed broker.  In over 30 years or representing clients, I have successfully closed hundreds of residential and commercial transactions in California valued in the tens of millions of dollars.   With great experience throughout San Diego County as well as intimate local area knowledge, I works extensively to help buyers and sellers meet their real estate goals.    Good service is not difficult, it's common sense.    I have been honored to have assisted hundreds of clients over the years and now helping their grown children!    

I love the work I do and take great pride in it.   There are always challenges in every situation, that's what keeps the work interesting.    The knowledge I have acquired through experience is a critical asset that drives success.   Markets change as do conditions that impact those markets.  It's imperative you work with an seasoned real estate professional to provide accurate "real time" intelligence combined with years of negotiation skills.   I do not make decisions for my clients.  My focus is to make sure they have all the knowledge they need to make the right decision for themselves.

More than 90% of my business is through referral.  My philosophy is that if you take care of your clients’ needs, success will follow. 

If you are considering a San Diego real estate acquisition or sale,  or simply would like more information, please feel free to call or e-mail me anytime.    All consultations are without obligation and are completely confidential.