When going on vacation or leaving home for long periods of time, there are simple steps you can take to avoid wasting energy at home. In the warmer months, set your thermostat at 85 degrees, but never completely turn it off -- it will force your refrigerator to work harder. For the water heater, turn it down to low (or turn it off at the circuit breaker if you have an electric one) or onto vacation mode if it's gas. Unplug large electronic equipment like TVs, DVD players, cable boxes, coffee makers and computers. And if you have a pool, lower the temperature setting and reduce the filter run times. All of these steps will add up to significant savings.