Energy efficiency: Holiday Edition

The holiday season can easily result in a skyrocketing electricity bill. You are so busy with decorating your household, shopping, gift-wrapping, cooking and baking that it is easy to lose track of your energy consumption. It is also a wonderful time of the year when people tend to reunite, but visits can also contribute to a higher energy bill if your home is not energy-efficient. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce your electricity bill during the holiday season- and it does not mean abandoning the holiday spirit!

 How to Keep Your Energy Usage Down During the Holiday Season 

Below is a list of simple tips that will significantly reduce your energy bill, while still allowing you to enjoy the holidays.

  • Light up Your Tree With LED Christmas Lights

LED Christmas lights use only 10 percent of the energy compared to traditional light bulbs and will last much longer. They are also much safer because they generate only a fraction of the heat so no need to panic if you leave them on for too long!

  • Use Fiber Optic Decorations 

Did you know you have fiber-optic trees? They are the crown of energy-efficient holiday decorations as they use a single light bulb to light the entire thing, benefiting both your energy consumption and budget!

  • Keep Lights On Only When In Use

This rule applies to all lighting and not just your Christmas tree. Wait until dark to turn on the lights and turn them off when you go to bed or just leave the room. Additionally, try to turn off other room lights when the tree is lit.

  • Decorate With Candles

Christmas lights are magical but candles have been the epitome of romantic settings for centuries. They can also contribute to your holiday magic without increasing your energy bill. Needless to say, extra attention has to be made and perhaps this is not the best choice in households with children!

  • Turn the Thermostat Down When You Have Guests 

The more guests, the merrier! Warm bodies will heat up the room without needing any electricity and for every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save up to 3 percent on your electric bill.

  • Use your kitchen wisely

You can bake several dishes at a time so your oven can use the same amount of electricity. You will also avoid preheating for each dish. Moreover, if you keep lids on pots, your dish will be cooked faster. Try to match the size of burners to the size of your pots and pans to avoid heat being wasted on thin air. There are many more ways to cook in an energy-efficient manner!

  • Beware of Energy Vampires

If you are leaving on holiday, ensure you unplug any electrical devices from the socket. Devices that remain on ‘standby’ or ‘sleep mode’ waste electricity and some even while just being plugged in.

All of the above steps will contribute to reducing your energy bill. However, while you’re at, ensure you explore different offers as there are many providers throughout Connecticut. Also, because electric rates are deregulated, without any switching fees or charges, you can easily find an even cheaper rate for your needs and save even more money along the way!

 How to Practice Green Gift-Giving 

If you want to be energy-efficient all the way, try to make the gift giving process greener as well with some of the following tips:

  • Re-use and re-gift

Buying used goods or re-gifting will not only save you money, but also contribute to a reduced energy consumption as it eliminates the energy waste from manufacturing new goods.

  • Buy energy-efficient gifts

Try to buy presents that do not need batteries or electricity at all! There are also many non-material gifts such as concert tickets or memberships. If you must, at least buy energy-efficient products with an Energy Star rating or ones with rechargeable batteries.

  • Wrap responsibly

If the design of eco-friendly wrapping ideas don’t appeal to you, at least try to re-use gift wrap, ribbons and gift bags.

 Include Energy-Efficiency Among Your New Year Resolutions Santa is asking you: is your holiday energy naughty or nice? Choose to give yourself and others a gift of energy efficiency this year: your budget and the planet will thank you.