Holidays are something you should enjoy. Whether it's just a few days or several weeks, holidays are time well spent.
We can't say the same about the pointless cost your home will incur for you while you're away. Because it's true, an empty home is still using electricity. Some of the things you leave plugged in continue to burn kWh.
When you return from your holiday, you'll often encounter a nasty surprise. Why isn't your bill for zero euro?
Well, to start with, there's your bill's fixed term: the power contracted that you must pay for, regardless of how much you use. This is what you pay for being connected to the electric grid, and it doesn't matter whether you're at home or not.
And what about the variable term? Why isn't your energy consumption equal to zero on the days that you were away? Because you weren't actually consuming zero kWh. Some appliances are costing you money.
Here's what you can to do leave your home "turned off" before your hard-earned escape.
Unplug the fridge
Just take a quick walk around your home, and you'll see that many of your appliances are still running even though you're not there. The most important one is the refrigerator, which consumes over 30% of your home's electricity.
If you're going to be away for more than three days it's a good idea to give the fridge a holiday, too. By unplugging it, you'll achieve zero consumption, but be careful! You'll need to toss all the perishable foods inside. You should leave it empty with the door fully open to prevent growth of mould or unsavoury odours.
Often, emptying the refrigerator and unplugging it is an ill-advised adventure. If it's well stocked (or if you're just feeling lazy), it's good enough just to set it to its least cold setting. That way, you'll save your food and enjoy energy savings of 6% for every degree you increase the temperature.
Disconnect the electric boiler
If you get your hot water from an electric heater, by turning it off, you can reduce consumption by 25% in your home while you're on holiday.
It makes sense when you think about it: what's the use in keeping the water hot when there's no one around to use it?
Standby power consumption
Do you turn off all the lights in your house but leave the little red light on the TV on? That's a totally unnecessary expense. Keeping your appliances on standby mode accounts for between 7 and 11% of your total energy consumption every year.
Besides making all those little lights turn off before heading out the door, you should know that there are appliances that are still consuming energy even when they're deactivated.
The best example is your computer: if it's plugged in, it'll continue to syphon off kWh. The same is true of air conditioners and mobile phone chargers.