Power down to save money

Anyone planning a vacation this summer or even a small getaway trip over a long weekend can be smart with their power and cut down on electricity use and costs.

Here is B.C. Hydro 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 the fridge and freezer completely and then unplugging them if away over an extended period of time. For shorter trips, try filling old containers with water to improve the 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.

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 a home, draw the 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.

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