June 2009
Don't Pay While You're Away
Tips for Saving Energy on Your Summer Vacation

Your bags are packed, the car is gassed up, the house is clean and the security alarm is set. But wait. Did you remember to lock the back door? Did you remember to turn off the coffee pot?

When you're getting ready for a big vacation, it's easy to forget certain things before you leave. But something you shouldn't forget is to take a few steps to save energy, and money, while you're away from home.

Next time you're away, take care of these simple tasks for vacation savings:

  • Turn your thermostat to 85 degrees using the hold feature on your programmable thermostat (or just set it to 85 on a regular thermostat). Since you'll be gone, there's no need to maintain a "comfortable" temperature in the house, but the air conditioning will come on if it gets too hot. This ensures that your house maintains an appropriate level of humidity and helps appliances like your freezer and refrigerator from using additional energy due to heat. It also will keep things like candles from melting.

  • Turn off the lights. If you are keeping some lights on for security purposes, be sure to use compact fluorescent bulbs, which use less energy and put off less heat, and consider a timer for outdoor lights. Setting lights on a timer can also give the illusion that someone is home.

  • If you have a pool or spa, turn the heater off and consider reducing filtering time, too. Consult your pool maintenance company to find out their recommendation.

  • Set your gas water heater to "vacation" or "pilot." If you have an electric one, turn it off at the breaker.

  • Turn off and unplug small appliances, like televisions, DVD players, microwaves, toasters and any types of chargers. This won't result in major savings, but can help here and there.

  • When your vacation is over, don't forget that increased energy use when you return - like washing extra loads of laundry - can offset your savings while you are away.

    Taking these extra steps can help you rest easy while you're away. And for even less to worry about while you're on vacation, you can sign up for bank draft with Walton EMC Natural Gas to pay your bill without lifting a finger. Call us today or go to waltonemcgas.com to sign up.

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