Energy Adviser: Unplug, save energy while out of town

For peace of mind and the illusion of occupancy, many people leave a light or two or maybe even a TV on while they’re out. It is a good trick to ward off potential intruders, but it can be done much more efficiently with timers or smart devices. Analog timers are simple and great for controlling when a light turns on. Smart LED light bulbs and smart plugs are even better. Smart bulbs can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet and programed to various schedules. Smart plugs achieve the same effect, but can control a wider range of devices.

Even though you think your computer, TV, gaming console, etc. are shut off, they’re still drawing power all the time. Many devices that turn on immediately or feature lights or small clocks go into more of an elaborate “deep sleep” mode instead of shutting down entirely. You can cut these energy thirsty machines off at the source, by simply unplugging all unnecessary electronics before you leave. Doing this across the home can be a bit of a pain, so make your effort more efficient by investing in power strips or shutting off power at circuit breakers.

No matter how long your trip, it’s smart to eat or throw out anything that could spoil while you’re gone or during an outage. If you’re leaving for weeks, consider cleaning out and unplugging the fridge and freezer entirely, defrosting the freezer and propping open the doors.

You can gain deeper insights into how your household consumes electricity by monitoring it through MyAccount. By signing up for my account, you can see how and when your household consumes electricity, see personalized energy saving tips, pay a bill, get notifications and text alerts for important information and more. Signing up is fast and easy, plus it’s a great way to know exactly how much energy you may save on your next trip out of town.


Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to [email protected] or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.

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