Saturday, 14 December 2013

Save Energy While on Holiday

If you’re going on holiday, then it’s time to start thinking about how you can power down your household and save money on gas and electricity consumption. Many household appliances don’t need to be plugged in while we’re away, but for some reason we often leave them on anyway. In the current climate of energy price hikes this could be a bad strategy. We take a look at simple ways to save money on energy bills while on holiday.

Turn the Heating Off or Down

The heating is one of the few things that most consumers do consider before going on holiday. If you’re away during the colder winter months, it’s a good idea to put it on a timer to prevent the risk of pipes from freezing and bursting. Keep the thermostat down low. At other times of year you can turn the heating off completely.

Keep Fridges and Freezers at the Right Temperature

Some people wonder if they should turn their fridges and/or freezers off when they go away. Unless you’re away for an exceptionally long period, however, it’s better to leave them on. Recommended temperatures are 5 degrees Celsius for fridges and -17 degrees Celsius for freezers. If your fridge or freezer is particularly old or inefficient, then you may want to consider purchasing a more energy efficient model in the future, as they do consume a fair amount of electricity.

Unplug Appliances

Go through each room in the house and unplug or switch off all the appliances which do not need to be switched on while you’re away. In the kitchen, this includes small appliances like the microwave (which remains in stand-by mode when not in use), the kettle, coffee maker and toaster, as well as larger appliances like the oven, dishwasher and washing machine (these all have stand-by modes too). In the living room, unplug the television, DVD player and games consoles. Together these can use a significant amount of energy over an extended time period. The one appliance you might want to leave on is the set-top box, especially if you have programmes set to record, otherwise your recordings will be missed and you may have to set up the system again on your return. Computers, laptops, printers and scanners should also be switched off. Switch off appliances such as the alarm clock and lamps in the bedroom.

Switch Off Lights

Lights shouldn’t be left on permanently while you’re away (this could look suspicious as well as wasting energy and costing a small fortune), but you may want to consider putting some lights on a timer for security. It’s recommended that you program lights to come on at least once a day. Outside motion sensor lights should also be left on. While saving energy and money is important, safety and security are even more essential. You can continue to save money when it comes to lighting by switching to low energy bulbs where possible.

Continue to Save Energy and Money When You Come Home

Saving money on energy is great while you’re away on holiday, but why not continue to save when you come back? It’s the ideal time to look into how you can make savings, both by continuing to unplug household appliances when they aren’t in use, and also by reviewing your energy bills and tariff. There are a number of different energy tariffs available, including those that offer dual fuel and monthly direct debit discounts.

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