Save Energy and Money When Away from Home


With spring and summer on the horizon, it’s prime time for many Florida families to take vacations away from home. One way to stretch your travel budget even further is to save a little money on your energy costs while you are away.

“Many of the energy savings tips our customers use year-round have an even bigger impact when families are away from their homes,” said Florida Power & Light Company Energy Expert Tiffany Spence. “It’s simple, really – vacations offer great opportunities to reduce your energy usage without even noticing, and that can help lower your bill.”

Here are the top tips to save energy and lower your bill while on a vacation.

Spring clean before you leave. “Cleaning or changing your A/C filter, vacuuming the coils behind or under your refrigerator and wiping dirt from the track of your sliding glass door are simple chores that will make your home more energy efficient,” Spence said.

Don’t cool an empty house. “Let’s say you’re leaving for two weeks. Be sure to leave your A/C on, with the fan set to ‘Auto’ and set your thermostat to 82 degrees or higher,” said Spence. “If you’re going away for longer or even for the season, you can view a helpful checklist at to help you save.”

Cut back your pool pump hours. “Your pool pump can be the second largest energy user in your home. When there’s no one to swim in it, reducing your pump’s run time saves energy. We suggest running your pool pump four hours in winter, and six hours in summer, per day.”

Turn off your water heater. “There’s little need for hot water when there’s no one home! While every water heater is different, you can save energy by switching a traditional tank-style electric water heater off while you’re away,” Spence said. “Follow your unit’s instructions, and if you’re going to be away for an extended time, you may want to turn it off using your circuit breaker or possibly drain it before you leave.”

Keep lights on timers. “Lighting is another large energy user in the home, so turning off your lights before you leave for vacation helps you save. For safety and security, you can use motion detector lights or set an indoor light on a timer while you’re away.”

Unplug your energy stealers. “It’s surprising, but many smaller appliances or devices use energy even when they are off or idle. For example, just two video game consoles or TV set-top boxes can equal the energy use of a refrigerator! Unplugging these items when you leave (or even when you’re home and not using them) can save you a few dollars a month.”

“At FPL, we’re always working to keep your energy bills low and helping you find ways to make them lower,” Spence said. “You can visit us anytime at for more tips, and get a personalized look at how you can save using our Online Home Energy Survey.”


Tiffany Spence
FPL Energy Expert