Prepare your home for an extended absence
Whether you’re a snowbird who goes south for a few months, have a seasonal cottage or taking a vacation, here are a few basic tips you might consider before leaving home.
Your RG&E bill
- Set up your account to have us mail your bill to an alternate address for a specified time period.
- Enroll in e-Billing to schedule automatic payments, make a monthly payment, and view your account online.
- Sign up for AutoPay service and we can automatically deduct your RG&E payment from your checking account.
- In the winter, set your heat between 50° and 60° F or install a programmable thermostat to automatically keep the house warm to protect water pipes.
- In the summer, set your air conditioner to no lower than 78°.
- Use random-access timers for lights to make it seem as if you are home. Don’t leave a lamp on as this could be a potential fire hazard.
- Close the fireplace damper.
- Unplug all non-essential electronics (stereos, televisions and computers) and appliances (coffee makers, toaster ovens and microwaves) as they will continue to drain energy even when not in use.
- Disconnect the garage door opener (be sure to have an alternate entry arranged for you or anyone checking on your residence while you are away.
- Clean out the refrigerator and freezer. If you turn them off completely, prop the door open to prevent mildew.
- Lower the temperature on your water tank.
- Turn off the water at the meter. If you do this make sure you also drain the pipes by opening faucets.
- Shut off the water supply to toilets.
- If you’ll be away from home for a period of time, you may want turn off your water heater. For an electric water heater, turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse. If you have a natural gas water heater, turn the setting to “pilot.”
If you are going to shut off the water completely, contact a qualified licensed plumber to have them winterize your home.
- Consider arranging for snow removal or lawn care.
- Let your local police know you are away.
- Ask a neighbor to periodically check your house.
- Cancel the newspaper, the mail, free home-delivered publications and the