7 Ways to Save Energy and Money During the Holidays
How to Save on Electricity
The holidays are nearly upon us, and while spending time with family and friends is good for the soul, blowing your holiday shopping budget on astronomical electricity bills is most certainly not. Here are some easy ways you can increase energy efficiency and lower your electric bill this season.
Use LED Lights and Fiber Optic Decorations
We all love holiday decorations, but all those extra lights can really inflate your electric bill. Energy-efficient LED lights can cut your electricity usage by as much as 90%, which can help you save significantly.
Decorations lit with fiber optics use a single bulb and a lot less energy than traditional lighting, offering the ultimate in efficiency and savings.
Set Holiday Lights With a Timer
A timer lets you program your holiday lights to run on an automated schedule so you never have to worry about remembering to turn them on or off. Timers are easy to find this time of year – you can get them anywhere holiday lights are sold – and cost less than $5. If you don’t have a timer, aim for no more than six hours of illumination a day; turn the lights on at dusk, and turn them off before you go to bed.
Let Your Tree Light the Room
There is nothing better than relaxing in the warm glow of a beautifully lit and decorated Christmas tree. When your tree is on, turn off other lights in the room whenever you can. You will have more than enough light to move around if you need to, and you won’t waste energy using lights you don’t need.
Decorate With Candles
Candles are a great alternative to electric holiday lights – and won’t cost you a dime in utility charges. Set luminaries along an outdoor walkway or patio, place candles on your mantle or on a high shelf, or decorate your holiday table with a candlelit centerpiece. Just be sure to keep flames away from combustible materials and high enough so that curious kids and pets can’t get to them.
Adjust the Thermostat
When you have a house full of people, you won’t need to set your thermostat quite as high. More bodies mean more warmth, so turn the thermostat down a few degrees and give your furnace – and your bank account – a break.
Look For the Energy Star Label
Energy Star-rated appliances and electronics are designed to use significantly less electricity – sometimes as much as 60% less than traditional devices. Look for the Energy Star label on everything from TVs and DVD players to computers and cordless phones.
For most of us, holiday parties and get-togethers require a large amount of cooking and baking. To get the most out of your oven and to save yourself a few dollars on your energy bill, cook as many dishes as you can all at once. Roast the turkey along with the sweet potatoes, bake dinner rolls and cookies at the same time, and cook pies and casseroles together.
Another great way to save energy is to use the smallest appliance possible to get the cooking done. Crock pots, microwaves, toaster ovens, and other small kitchen devices let you cook the same holiday favorites with a lot less electricity.