Half the fun of a holiday is leaving behind the niggling worries that get in the way of everyday life, so the last thing you want to be thinking about as you sip cocktails from a sun lounger is whether or not you should have turned the heating off before you left home. These five simple tasks will keep your house energy efficient while you’re away – and will save you some cash in the process (which means more cocktails by the pool!).
Chances are, if you’re heading off for a summer holiday, you’re not relying on your boiler for heating (and if you are, you should definitely read our guide to reducing summertime energy bills). However, you’re probably still using your boiler for hot water, so turn the water heating setting right down before you leave – there’s no point your boiler working hard to keep water hot if there’s no-one there to use it! If you’re jetting off for some winter sun, though, it’s important to take steps to prevent pipes from freezing. In which case, program your boiler so the central heating comes on for an hour or two each day, just to keep things ticking over.
Yep, pretty much everything. TVs, stereos, computers – even routers – continue to draw an electrical charge while they’re on standby, so spend a few minutes unplugging your appliances at the wall before you head off. For a longer-term gain, invest in a special energy-saving extension lead that will allow you to kill all your appliances in one fell swoop, so you can make savings when you head to bed every day, instead of only when you head abroad once a year.
People don’t want their houses to look unoccupied while they’re on holiday because it makes them a target for burglars, so it’s tempting to leave a few lights on to make it look like someone’s home. This is a big waste of energy though, and even the slowest burglar will quickly wise up to the fact that the same lights have been left on 24/7. Instead, buy an automatic timer which will flick lamps and other appliances on and off at pre-programmed times. This gives the illusion of someone being home as well as saving money on unnecessary lighting.
Fridges and freezers are massive energy guzzlers, so if you’re heading away for an extended trip, consider using up all your food, giving your fridge a clean and turning the thing off. If you’re not going to be away long enough to warrant doing that, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce the appliance’s energy consumption. Firstly, your fridge freezer is more efficient when it’s well-stocked. The easiest way to make sure this happens – without buying food that’ll just end up spoiling – is to cram it full of jugs and bowls filled with water. Once you’ve done this, turn the setting down so it’s at a slightly warmer temperature – a couple of degrees can reduce energy use by as much as 25%.
Blinds and curtains are hugely underrated energy-saving devices, helping to keep the warmth in during winter and the heat out in the summer. So if you don’t want to come back to a hot stuffy home, make sure curtains are drawn and the blinds pulled down before you leave (and this of course has the added bonus of keeping prying eyes out of your vacant property).
OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.