Unoccupied House Elec. Consumption


Old 04-12-05, 09:53 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Delaware Co, NY
Posts: 173
Unoccupied House Elec. Consumption

Is there any rule-of-thumb to estimate of what my electrical usage would be if my home were unoccupied for several months? I have oil heat/water, propane stove.

Perhaps as a percentage of my normal bill?

Thanks for any assistance you guys can offer.
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Old 04-12-05, 07:00 PM
txdiyguy's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 249
I have a rental property (1600 sq ft) that I've been using for storage for well over a year. I have a refrigerator (with very little in it) running and the thermostat set on 50 degrees for winter (natural gas heat) and about 86 degrees in the summer. In all but July, August and September my electric bill averages $15-$16. For those three months, if runs from $35-$45. I'm in North Texas.
Old 04-13-05, 06:15 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Delaware Co, NY
Posts: 173
Thanks much. That's a helpful data point.

Old 04-13-05, 09:52 AM
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Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
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You could give your power company a call and see if they have a "vacation rate" also. I've heard of people who live in winter or summer houses getting a discounted or flat rate for a season after declaring the property to be unoccupied or vacant.

The usual suggestions apply too: clean out and unplug the fridge and freezers, unplug everything except security lights and timers. Many devices use power even when turned off, and it can add up. I would probably even switch off the breakers to everything that wasn't essential.
Old 04-13-05, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NY
Posts: 108
Definately check with your power company. My power company for example charges a minimum supply charge of about $20 a month just to have the lines to the house which is a fee independant of actual usage.

Make sure all electrical devices that have a standby option, DVD players, TV sets, VCRs, even microwave are unplugged if you are away for long periods as they continue to draw power even when turned off. It normally not alot of power, anywhere from about 1/2 Watt to 5 Watts, but multiple devices will add up. Also anything that plugs into the wall using an AC to DC converter will contstantly draw power even when not in use.

Unplugging a refridgerator can be risky because of the fact that if they sit they can develop an odor.
Old 04-13-05, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
If you unplug the fridge and freezer make sure you prop the door open. I unplug my fridge at the cottage every winter for 6 months. There is no smell.
Old 04-13-05, 07:29 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
Kill power to the water heater as well...

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