It’s summertime – and for many Michiganders that means vacay mode! There’s a lot of in-state travel happening and cramming visits to all your favorite lakes, forests and campgrounds into the 14-ish short weeks between the start of summer and when the crisp, cool air starts rolling in. 

Preparing for a vacation can take a lot of work. You start with a checklist of everything you need while traveling and wrap up work so you can unplug. And when you’re busy getting ready for your trip, it’s easy to overlook some of the small things you can do around the house to reduce energy use – and energy costs – while you’re away.  

Here are five ways to prepare your home before you head out on that summer trip.  

Install a smart thermostat: If you haven’t already, installing one can save you an average of $50 annually on energy costs.* But it also learns your schedule and will automatically ease off cooling when it knows your home is empty.  Plus, you can access your settings from your phone if you really want to be in control of your home’s temperature while you’re away. We have great deals on smart thermostats through our online store.   

Unplug certain appliances or use smart power strips: Before you figuratively “unplug” from work and other day-to-day responsibilities, makes sure to literally unplug some things at home. Many electronics draw power from the wall even when they are powered off, so it’s always a good idea to unplug unnecessary items before you leave.  But since it’s not always practical to unplug everything, using a smart power strip helps. 

Close your drapes or lower your blinds: To prevent the sun from heating your home while you’re away, close drapes and curtains and lower blinds to reduce radiant heat and keep your home cooler.   

Turn off lights or use timers:?Even if you’re using LED lights, be sure to turn off all lights before you leave the house. Not only will this save on energy costs but you can use timers to turn on a few lights in the evening to make it look like someone’s home. 

Keep your refrigerator full: Like your belly, a full fridge is a happy one. You might be tempted to empty out your fridge before you leave but keeping it full uses less energy. You don’t have to stock up on groceries before you leave, you can fill up the extra space with jugs or pitchers of water. 

Your energy savings journey doesn’t have to stop. There are so many small, meaningful changes you can make to save all year round. Check out our energy efficiency programs to find plenty of ways to use less energy, lower your bill, and earn rebates – all at the same time.  

*Source: Savings may be greater depending on climate, personal comfort preferences, occupancy, and/or heating/cooling (HVAC) equipment.  

Check out 5 Things you can do in 5 Minutes to Save Energy.