Vacations and Your Electric Usage While You’re Away
DURANGO, Colo. – Summer is here and many of us are thinking of taking vacations. La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) members frequently ask why their electric utility bill is so high when they are away from home all day or have left for a week’s vacation.
Lifestyle and size of the family determine the amount of energy used, rather than the quantity of time spent in the home. People who are gone all day use greater amounts of electricity in shorter periods of time; when an individual stays home all day, the electrical usage is spread over the day. For example, there is little difference in the amount of laundry or cooking required for a family that remains home compared to a family gone all or part of the day.
Activities prior to vacation may include house cleaning, extra clothes washing, etc. There is a repeat of this activity when the vacationer returns with clothes to be washed and countless other chores to be performed with the aid of electrical appliances.
Many people have the misconception they can turn their thermostats up to 85 degrees, leave the house for a week or two and their electric bill will drop. That simply isn’t the case.
A vacant house at 85 degrees will not use much less energy than an occupied house at 68 degrees.
It should be remembered that appliances, such as furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, clocks and instant-on televisions, will continue to operate through automatic controls. They require little attention and are often forgotten by the consumer. In contrast, we pay attention to the lights because they are manually operated by a switch.
If you plan to leave your house for an extended period of time, we recommend you turn up thermostats, remembering that higher settings do not eliminate all usage. Disconnect, whenever possible, such things as televisions, well pumps and water heaters, remembering to drain all water lines when necessary.
Please remember to let the billing department know if you need your bill forwarded to a temporary address if you plan on being gone for any length of time. Also, to help you determine your usage period, the reading dates for the billing cycle is printed on your bill. Please call (970) 247-5786 if you have any questions. Have a great summer!
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 43,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For further information, contact LPEA at (970) 247-5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.