How to switch off your home before you go on holiday

You can relax for a few days on the beach or in the mountains, but your electricity bill will still go up. Even when you're away, there are appliances that continue to consume energy. We'll explain how to keep this expense to a minimum.

Holidays are meant to be enjoyed. Whether it's a few days or a few weeks, whatever you spend on them will be well spent, but we're all looking to save as much as possible and spend as little as possible, enjoying ourselves as never before.

That's why, before going on holiday, we usually prepare well in advance and carefully check all the details to make the most of the trip without overspending. Do you do the same with your home before you leave? 

Not many people think about the unnecessary cost that your home will generate while you're away. Because it's true, an empty home still uses electricity. Some of what you leave plugged in still consumes kWh.

When returning from holiday, there are often a few surprises. Why is my bill not 0 euros?

The answer is very simple, plugged-in elements still consume electricity. An unnecessary expense that we're going to help you reduce.

“Going on holiday but your home is still using energy? This summer we'll teach you how to minimise your bill."

Well, for a start there's the your bill's fixed term: the power contracted you have to pay for regardless of how much electricity you use. You pay for being connected to the grid and it doesn't matter if you've not been at home.

What about the variable component? It's where you can avoid overspending unnecessarily: your actual electricity consumption, the kWh shown on your meter.

Why is your electricity consumption not zero during the days you were away? Because the consumption hasn't been 0 kWh. Some appliances are costing you money.

We explain how to leave your home properly switched off before escaping to relax.

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"The variable component is where you can save when you're not around."

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.

"Unplug everything before you leave. The best trick is to use extension leads with a switch."

Turn off your electrical panel

If you really want to save, and if you can unplug everything, or at least an entire section of your home, don't hesitate to go straight to the source: you can turn off all the power at the fuse box.

By turning off the mains power, you'll avoid consuming electricity from any appliances and your meter won't change at all until you return.

 

Remote control of electricity consumption

If you want to remain in complete control of your home's consumption while you're on holiday, turn on digital billing.

You'll be able to remotely monitor your consumption. All you have to do is connect to the internet (from a computer or smartphone/tablet after downloading the Endesa app) and you'll see in detail how much electricity your home is consuming, every hour of every day.

This way you'll know if you have left anything on and you can even set up alerts to notify you by email (or mobile phone) when your consumption exceeds a given number of kWh. 

So now you know, before disconnecting for the holidays, take a few minutes to disconnect your home too.

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