Unplug as much as you can
If you work from home, we have no doubt that it'll be a pleasure to switch off your computer and everything in your home office. But what about the appliances in the kitchen and in the living room? What about those in the bedrooms and the bathroom?
The list of devices to consider can be very long indeed: microwave, oven, blender, coffee machine... and in the living room: TV, router, phone and laptop chargers, etc. They're all electricity guzzling devices even when they're not in use. They make them that way to make our lives easier, but if we're not going to be at home there's no point in keeping them plugged in.
This is the infamous phantom consumption and can account for between 7 and 11% of your home's total energy consumption. A silent waste that doesn't stop for holidays.
How to avoid it? Unplugging is the key.
Disconnect the fridge
You only need to take a walk around the house to see that many electrical appliances are still working, even if you're not there. The most significant one is the fridge, which consumes more than 30% of the electricity in your home.
If you're going to be away more than 3 days you can give your fridge a holiday. Unplugging it will achieve zero consumption, but be careful, you'll lose all the perishable food inside. All you have to do is plan your last week's shopping and meals to leave it as empty as possible. Remember that if you unplug the fridge, you must leave the doors open to avoid mould and bad smells. This is another area where you can save.
In many cases, emptying the fridge and unplugging isn't a wise choice.
If you have too much food (or are too lazy), and emptying it isn't an option, you can still save. Both the fridge and freezer are most energy efficient when they're almost full. Therefore, it will be enough to fill the empty spaces with tupperware filled with water and set the thermostat to the lowest possible cold setting.
As you won't be opening the door for many days, the cold will be kept inside, keeping the food fresh. This will also preserve food and save around 6% of energy for every degree you raise the temperature.
Disconnect your electric boiler
If the hot water comes from an electric boiler, switching it off can save up to 25% of your household's consumption during the holidays.
Also, think about it: there's no point in keeping water warm that you're not going to use.
Standby power consumption
Do you turn off all the lights in the house, but leave the TV's red pilot light on? Those little red lights that surround you at night are an indication that your devices are ready to power up quickly... and also that they're still consuming.
Take a good walk around every room and make them disappear before you leave. It's a totally unnecessary expense. These appliances on standby account for between 7 and 11% of your total annual electricity consumption.
As well as making all the little lights disappear before you walk out the door, you need to know that there are appliances that continue to consume energy when they're switched off.
This is because they remain connected to the grid. For example, your computer, air conditioning, mobile phone chargers, tablets, games console... even rechargeable toothbrushes!
The best example is the computer: If you leave it plugged in it keeps draining kWh from the mains. The same goes for air conditioning and mobile phone chargers.