large percentage of the cost of running a water heater is
due to the "stand by" losses, the cost of keeping the
water at the selected temperature. Consider setting the
water heater to the "Vacation" setting or the lowest
temperature setting. Make sure you record what
temperature it should be set back to when you return (a
normal operating temperature of 120°F is safe &
energy efficient). Turning it off may not be the best
idea; the life of some water heaters can be shortened,
you can risk freezing pipes in winter, & you can have
a considerable wait for hot water once you turn it back
on. Setting your water heater down but not off, can save
you up to $10/month for electric water heaters or
$4/month for gas.
sure that you're not running your dehumidifer in the
continuous mode, it could be costing you up to $30/month.
Depending on your needs, consider turning it down or
sure most of your lights are off while you're out.
However, you may want to leave a few on to create a
"lived in" look, to deter robbery. Consider putting some
lights on a timer or photocell; you save energy &
give more of an appearance that someone is home. Turning
off the lights can save a typical household about $6 per
stoves & fireplaces
you have a stove or fireplace w/ a pilot light, consider
shutting them off if you're gone for a long period of
time. However, make sure you know the correct & safe
way to re-light them. New appliances may use a "pilotless
ignition" & may not have a pilot to turn off. A gas
pilot light will typically cost $1-$2/month.
house has many items that use small amounts of energy
when they're plugged in, but they can add up. Unplugging
these items not only save energy, put in some cases, can
avoid possible fire hazards during your absence. Some of
the more common items: television set, VCR, cable TV
boxes, clocks, microwaves ovens & items using "power
cubes" (dustbusters, cell phone chargers, baby monitors,
battery chargers). Most of these items have internal
circuits that always use electricity when they're plugged
in, even when they're turned off. Each item can cost you
between 25¢ & $3/month.