The Holiday Season is full of celebrations amongst friends and family and a time when energy use is high. Whether it's lights lit throughout your home or festive gatherings, your energy bill can quickly start to rise - but it doesn't have to. Here are some tips on how to use less energy during the holidays and save some money.
- Switch to LED Christmas Lights
LED Christmas lights use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights, and can be purchased for around $10 a strand.
- Use Fiber Optic Decorations
Fiber optic trees and decorations are the ultimate in energy efficiency. In most cases, they use a single light bulb which is extremely energy smart and easy on your wallet.
- Limit the Time Lights are On
Wait until it's actually dark outside to turn on your Christmas lights. Then, turn them off before you go to bed. Leaving your lights on all night is a waste of energy and will definitely cost you extra in the long run. You should aim for six hours, or less, of daily use. If you can't remember to turn off your lights, invest in a timer so you can set it and forget it.
- Turn Off Room Lights When Your Tree is Lit
Let your tree be the true focal point and turn off any other lights in or near the room. The lights on your Christmas tree should provide more than enough lighting needed to see and navigate around the room.
- Decorate With Candles
Christmas lights are nice, but so are candles. Set up luminaries along your walkway and light candles throughout your home to achieve a beautiful holiday glow, that won't add to your electric bill. (Please be careful and observe fire safety recommendations for indoor candles!)
- Turn Your Thermostat Down When You Have Guests Over
The extra body heat in the house will create extra warmth. Turn down your thermostat and enjoy the extra warmth at no cost.
- Buy Gifts that Don't Use Electricity or Batteries
According to energyquest.ca.gov, 40% of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season. That's a lot of money spent and amounts to a lot of energy getting used! Make a pledge to limit or eliminate gifts from your list that require batteries or electricity.
- Invest in Rechargeable Batteries and a Charger
If you buy or receive gifts that require batteries, you should invest in rechargeable batteries and a charger. This will help save money in the long run.
- Buy Energy Star Electronics
Energy Star certified electronics use up to 60% less electricity than their non-certified counterparts. Visit energystar.gov for a list of qualifying models and shop smarter this year. Give gifts that recipients can appreciate year-round.
- Take a Walk to See the Christmas Lights
If you and your family enjoy seeing the Christmas lights, leave the car in the driveway this year. A walking tour of your neighborhood is not only a healthier choice that gets you additional steps with your step counter, but can be just as much fun and will save you some gas.
- Bake Several Dishes at a Time
The holiday season is a popular time for baking. Make the most out of your oven and the energy that goes into heating it, by cooking several dishes at once. Remember, it takes the same amount of energy to heat a full oven as it does a nearly-empty one.
- Use the Smallest Appliance to Get the Job Done
Use your microwave and toaster oven for small holiday cooking tasks. Save the oven for bigger cooking tasks and you’ll instantly save yourself money using less energy.
- Keep Lids on Your Pots
Food cooks faster when the lid is on, which results in less energy use. Less heat will escape so your A/C won’t have to overwork to keep your home comfortable.
- Unplug Phantom Energy User Before Vacation
If you’re traveling for the holidays, it’s smart to unplug TVs, DVD players, computers, kitchen appliances and many other household items. These items are using energy even when they’re not turned on. Unplug these items before you go on vacation and save yourself some coin.
By taking these easy steps, you’ll be on the right track to a happy holiday season with some extra savings to start off the new year right. If you’re feeling motivated to take further steps on saving energy and money, you can find more tips on our website here.