Turning off appliances while on vacation can save homeowners when it comes to power bills.
For those planning a vacation in the back half of the summer, BC Hydro suggests turning off more than the lights when leaving the house.
Cutting down on power use cuts down on the power bills waiting for residents when they return, says Hydro.
Here is an energy-efficient vacation check list:
- Lights: Turn them off. Set up some energy-efficient lamps on timers for security and use photo sensors or motion detectors for outdoor lights.
- Refrigerator and freezer: Consider emptying your fridge and freezer completely and then unplugging them if you'll be away over an extended period of time. For shorter trips, try filling old containers with water to improve your fridge's efficiency. Having an empty fridge or freezer requires more energy to cool the empty spaces.
- TVs and stereos: Unplug all TVs, stereos and all related components, except your set top box/VCR if you plan to record shows while you are away. Consider using an Energy Star set top box.
- Water heater: Set electric heaters to the lowest temperature. For gas water heaters, you can use the vacation setting.
- Air conditioners and ceiling fans: Make sure to turn off air conditioners and ceiling fans. To minimize heat entering your home, draw your blinds and close other window coverings.
- Appliances with clocks: Anything with a clock - for example microwave ovens or coffee machines - uses electricity so don't forget to unplug these appliances to diminish "phantom" load.
- Other electronics and devices: Many electronics still draw power even when they are in an off state. Unplug all non-essential devices, like phone chargers. An average Canadian household wastes $43 a year due to standby power.
If you are travelling in the Hudson's Hope, Mission, or Revelstoke areas, drop by one of BC Hydro's visitor centres at the Peace Canyon Dam, W.A.C. Bennett Dam, Stave Falls, and Revelstoke Dam to say hello and to learn how electricity is generated.
For more tips on how to save energy and money throughout the year visit www.bchydro.com/powersmart.