The holiday season is known for running up the energy bill, but that doesn't mean it has to be that way! Here are some tips on how to use less energy and save money.
Use Less Energy
Use LED lights. LED holiday lights use 90% less electricity than regular lights, and are becoming more and more affordable! Plus they are much safer than incandescent or halogen lights, because they put off only a fraction of the heat. Consider making the switch to save money in the long run!
Keep it cozy without turning the heat up. Planning on hosting the family fun at your house this year? Plan to save money on your heating bill too. A room full of warm bodies will heat up on its own without running up your heating bill. You save up to 3% on your electric bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.
Use your kitchen wisely. If you have a big holiday meal to make, save energy by baking several dishes at the same time. Your oven will use the same amount of electricity to heat up one dish as opposed to several. There's also no need to preheat the oven for dishes with a long baking time such as turkey or ham; just add a few minutes to the timer.
Beware of vacation vampires. If you plan to travel during the holidays, keep in mind that you might still be wasting electricity at home. Make sure you unplug your electronics before you leave to avoid using vampire energy (electricity that slowly drains from plugged-in outlets). Also make sure large appliances and electronics are turned off completely.
Practice green gift giving. If you're buying electronics or appliances, look for the Energy STAR label to ensure your device has the best energy-saving technology. Also, buy electronics with rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones. While rechargeable batteries have a higher up-front cost than regular batteries, they save you money in the long run and are better for the environment.