With the holiday season comes more than colder weather — there are the parties, the baking, the fixing of family dinners, and, in some cases, the stringing of holiday lights. It’s also a time of year when home energy use can spike, leading to a very large January electricity bill.
This year, do what you can to conserve energy through the holidays and the New Year. Try following these simple tips.
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 almost no heat, are safe to the touch.
Reduce Your Home Thermostat
When you home is filled with people, or the ovens are working overtime, or both, 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 you set your thermostat decreases your home’s energy usage up to 3 percent.
You could also consider getting a learning thermostat, like the Nest. These can automate energy saving actions, like automatically adjusting the temperature based on your habits, and use motion sensors to turn down the heat when nobody is home.
Plan Your Meal
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.
Ignore Your Dog
I don’t know about your pet(s), but my dog likes to go outside. A lot. 17% of the time, he actually needs to go outside. The rest of the time, he just wants to be outside to bark at squirrels and tell (bark at) the neighbors that he would really enjoy a treat. If you limit the number of times you let your dog in/out, your energy bills will be roughly 3,000% less.
The holiday season can be full of excess. Don’t let your energy bill be one of them!