Empty Home Energy Checklist

Some members go away and are expecting a smaller energy bill on their return, only to find the bill was pretty much the same as when they’re home.

A home's electrical devices are consuming energy all the time, whether the house is occupied or not. This is why it's important to take the proper steps to prepare a home to be empty when it won’t be used for a long period of time. These are a few steps you can take to reduce energy bills while you're away.

Decide which actions from the list below apply to our home and are worth the effort and disruption, depending on how long you plan to be away.  Place a check marker under “TO DO’ for those that you’ll do, and then put a check mark beside each once it’s done. When you come back home, you can easily see the items you need to put back to normal and check them off as you do them.

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HEATER/THERMOSTAT ~ 40% of a home’s energy usage




Turn all thermostats down to 50°F to 55°F




Unplug all unattended space heaters




Unplug electric blankets








WATER HEATER ~ 25% of a home’s energy usage




Fix leaky taps and pipes




Adjust the water heater thermostat to 120°F (always)




Turn off the water heater at the electrical panel












Defrost and unplug refrigerator/freezer and prop open door




OR, adjust refrigerator thermostat to a warmer temperature and place plastic gallon jugs of water in refrigerator












Unplug all small electronic devices (e.g., clocks, humidifiers)




Unplug all TVs, entertainment electronics, and computers




Unplug all power adapters and  charging devices




Unplug microwave, coffee maker, and other appliances w/clocks








Install timers or day/night sensors on indoor & outdoor security lights




Unplug all night lights












Close all curtains and drapes for insulation and security












Unplug hot tub heater and drain/winterize hot tub




Unplug air conditioners if not needed for humidity control




Unplug landscaping water features if not needed for aquatic life