Four tips to save money at home while you're on vacation

Getting ready for vacation is exciting and, well, exhausting. Packing for the whole family can be a lot of work, especially if you have kids. Packing everyone’s clothes, not to mention diapers, snacks and toys, takes a lot of time and preparation. To save money without spending a lot of time, here’s a checklist of quick things you can do to make sure your home doesn’t waste energy while you’re out exploring the world:

  1. Turn off the A/C – There’s no reason to cool an empty house this summer. Instead, you can set the thermostat to 90 or just turn it off completely. You can save 2 to 3 percent on your electric bill for every degree you raise your thermostat while you’re gone. That could result in some pretty substantial savings, especially for longer vacations. But if you have a pet, don’t do that. Leave the house at a temperature that will keep Whiskers happy. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure to set it to the “vacation” mode before you leave.
  2. Pull the plug — Your electronics use energy even when not in use. So, unplug your TV, lamps, coffee maker, digital clocks, cell phone chargers, computers and game systems, to name a few.
  3. Give your water heater a break — If you are planning on vacationing this summer, shut off the circuit breaker to the water heater. This will save lots of energy by not heating water you won’t be using while you’re away. If you have a gas heater, turn the gas valve off to be safe. If your getaway is scheduled for colder months, set your water heater to its lowest possible setting. The lowest setting will keep water from freezing in the lines, while also save a few bucks.
  4. Prep the fridge — You likely tried to eat all the groceries before leaving home, but a full fridge actually takes less energy to run. If your trip will take fewer than four weeks, consider filling the fridge with things like bottles of water. If you’ll be away for more than four weeks, it might be worth cleaning out the whole fridge and unplugging it until you get back.

A few super simple changes are all it takes to lower your energy use and save a few dollars. With these quick fixes, you can leave for your vacation without any worry of wasting energy or your hard earned cash. 

For more information on energy efficiency and money saving tips, visit Black Hills Energy ‘s Keeping Energy Affordable blog.

Information from Black Hills Energy
April 2017