The holiday season brings more than just colder weather — there are parties, baking, large family dinners, and, for many, the stringing of holiday lights all over the house and yard. It’s also a time of year when home energy use can increase dramatically, leaving you with an excessive January utility bill.
This year, do what you can to conserve energy through the holidays and the New Year. Here are just a few tips to help guide you to a more cost effective holiday season.
If you string lights outside of your home, try LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting. LED lights use 86% less electricity than comparable incandescent lights and have numerous safety advantages. For example, LED lights are shatterproof, present no fire hazard, and, because they emit very little heat, are safe to the touch.
Lower The Thermostat
When our homes are filled with people, the ovens are working overtime, and the fireplace is burning for added ambiance, the temperature can rise by several degrees. Rather than opening a window or leaving a door ajar, consider lowering your home’s thermostat, or turning off the heat altogether. Each degree “colder” that you set your thermostat, your home’s energy usage decreases by as much as 3 percent.
Plan Your Meals Carefully
Holiday meals are often prepared in advance of dinner and then reheated or warmed to be ready for company. This leads to running the oven, microwave or stove-top multiple times for each served dish. When possible, prepare foods at the same time and warm in the oven at the same time. In running your appliances less, you will save on energy costs.
Use Your Dishwasher At Capacity
Some dishes require hand-washing. For everything else, use a dishwasher. Dishwashers use less water than is required to wash and rinse plates, utensils and pots and pans by hand. They can also use up to 50% less energy than is required to heat the water you’ll need to wash your dishes manually.
The holiday season can be full of excesses. Don’t let your energy bill be one of them.