As this is the first restriction-free spring/summer since the pandemic began, property expert Thomas Goodman from MyJobQuote, advises how to avoid returning from your holiday with an enormous energy bill. Goodman also explains why you shouldn’t just switch your electricity off completely.


Water supply

If you are on a water meter, then anything from a slightly dripping tap to an enormous burst pipe can significantly bump up your water bill. On average, a dripping tap left on adds just under £11 per month, resulting in £130.80 added to your annual bill.

Not only can a water drip or burst pipe add to your annual water bill but water can cause a significant amount of damage to your home, resulting in costly repairs. In fact, home insurance providers are estimated to pay out around £1.8 million every day due to water leaks. To avoid either an increased water bill or a costly repair bill, simply turn off your stopcock. This is straightforward, but half the “challenge” is working out where the stopcock valve is – normally under the kitchen sink but can be found in an airing cupboard or under the stairs.

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Wi-Fi Router

As Wi-Fi routers are meant to be left on all the time, they use a relatively small amount of energy and aren’t the biggest energy drainer you could get. However, if you are going away for a couple of weeks, simply switching your router off can help keep your energy bill low – after all who wants to pay for something they won’t be using. As the average Wi-Fi router uses just 0.008 kWh, turning it off for a 7 day holiday would save just under £2.

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Electric heaters

An electric heater must always be switched off when not in use. Even just leaving an electric heater on overnight can be a significant fire hazard, as the powerful heater can damage the socket it is plugged into and overheats.

To protect your home from any fire risks and causing significant damage, make sure all electric heating devices are turned off and unplugged from the socket.

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If you are going on holiday during the warmer, summer months then it is advisable to turn your boiler off, as you simply won’t be needing it while on holiday. Be mindful, however, as some boiler systems may cause more issues when turned off for a long period of time and can result in issues such as your valve or pump seizing up. However, this can be avoided by having your boiler serviced at least annually, if not at least just before you go on holiday, as a gas-safe engineer will be able to determine any potential issues which could have an impact.

If you are going on holiday in the winter, however, then it is more advisable to leave your boiler switched on. As most modern boilers have an anti-freezer setting meaning you won’t come home to dreaded frozen pipes.

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Kettle and toaster

Both the kettle and toaster are not only fire hazards, but are significant energy drains when left plugged in. A typical toaster and kettle left plugged in and switched on will still use electricity, even though they are not in active use, both together can increase your energy bill during a 7 day holiday by over £14! Instead, make sure they are both unplugged and spend that money on your holiday instead.

Don’t switch off

Fridge freezer

Fridge/freezers must be left switched on to avoid food spoiling while you are on holiday. In addition, a fridge/freezer which is left to defrost and warm up will leak water, causing a risk of fire hazards and leaking. To save money while you are on holiday, however, you should cull your fridge and throw away any food which is just taking up space and won’t be used once you get home from your holiday. Not only will this avoid you coming home to mouldy food but the less produce you leave in your fridge/freezer, the less energy your fridge/freezer will need to keep cold.

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