Managing the Electric Cost in a Hawaii Vacation Rental

One of the most unexpected expenses people have when purchasing a vacation rental in Hawaii is the cost of electricity.  According to the US Energy Information Administration Hawaii has the highest electric cost of all states and the next closest state of Connecticut is close to 20% less.  While their is hope that the price of electric will stabilize or go down it is reasonable to expect a continued increase in the price.  Given that most travelers come from states that the cost of electric is half of that of Hawaii to expect travers to conserve energy is wishful thinking.

One thing worth noting is over 70% of most electric bills are related to the use of the air conditioner.  To simply turn the refrigerator/freezer slightly warmer or turning the hot water heater off when unoccupied does not make a significant difference.

vacation rental thermostatsInstall a Smart Thermostat
In the present day, there are a number of smart thermostat options.  We at Waikoloa Vacation Rentals prefer to install the Ecobee thermostat in the vacation rentals we manage.  We do have some Nest thermostats in a number of properties.  While there are several other brands we have been happy with these two so have not tried another.  An advantage a smart thermostat gives you is to be able to see your usage history.  You can look online and see the history, which normally correlates with your electric bill.

Set a Minimum Setting on Your Smart Thermostat
We typically set a minimum temperature of 72 degrees for the vacation rentals we manage.  If we have guests that have sleep apnea or demand a lower setting we can easily change the minimum setting remotely.  A common misbelief is that setting the temperature very low causes the room to cool quicker.  This is not true and is something that many guests do.

Have Door Shut Off Sensors
It is imperative to have sensors that will shut off the air conditioner when a door is open.  There are a number of different options for this.  We prefer to use the sensors made by Ecobee that are compatible with their thermostats.  First, they are significantly less in cost than other options.  Second, they are synced with the app so you can view if a door is open or closed if needed.