The holiday season is full of cheer and family togetherness. It is also a time for extra energy usage. A homeowner’s power bill can sky-rocket due to many appliances being used during the holidays. However, with a few modifications and additions, the bill might not have to be as bad as previous years.
Christmas lights are a major contributor to rising power costs during the holiday season. A homeowner can save energy and circumvent this by switching to LED Christmas lights. These lights use 90% less energy than traditional lights. Not only are LED lights better on power consumption, they are also a longer lasting option.
Fiber Optic decorations are another cost cutting measure that can be taken to cut an electricity bill. They generally use just one light bulb to illuminate an entire area. If there are less light bulbs in use, then there is less power used.
Everyone likes looking at the lights on the tree or the lights around the house. Christmas lights that are left on for too long can raise electricity bills. Many people tend to leave them on all throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is turning them on for 6 hours a day or only when it is dark. If it is too hard to remember to shut them off, a timer can be purchased. If the Christmas tree is illuminated then the regular household lights can be turned off. There is no need to have two light sources on when just the Christmas tree can be used and enjoyed.
Another inexpensive way to decorate and cut your energy bill is to use candles in place of electrical lights. There are extra precautions that need to be taken in order to keep everyone safe. However, candles can give a home a warm, traditional, and welcoming feeling.
Lights can inflate energy consumption. Heating can be an even bigger power drain if you use an electric heater. If there is a party in the home, the homeowner can lower the thermostat. More people in a space means more body heat, thus the ability to keep the space warmer with less energy being used.
If there is a fireplace, it can be used to reduce energy use and heat the home. It adds a traditional feel to the home as well.
If there are fans in the home, you can have the orientation of the fan blades switched when the cold weather starts. As the hot air from the heating source rises toward the ceiling, the fan will move it back down to where it will be of use.
When the holiday baking is being done, the baker should take advantage of the oven being hot by having one batch prepped and ready to go as the freshly baked pies or cookies come out. When baking or using the oven, if there is a dish that needs to be warmed, it can be placed near or even on the stove to take advantage of the heat coming off of it.
Another simple thing to do to reduce costs is instead of using the oven use a slow cooker, microwave, or even a pressure cooker. These appliances use much less energy than a traditional stove/oven combination.
The holiday season usually means more food. If there is more food being stored in refrigerators then this makes them run more efficiently. Keeping a refrigerator stocked means less energy, thus a lower cost to run.
Using hot water is a must and a hot water heater can be a major contributor to rising costs if you have an electric hot water heater. In order to get around this, a blanket for the hot water heater can be purchased. This provides extra insulation. Using cold water instead of hot water is another way to conserve energy. The water heater’s thermostat can be lowered to 115 degrees as well. If the hot water heater is heard turning on more frequently than normal, gaskets, faucets, and pipes should be checked for leaks. Insulation for a home’s pipes can also be purchased.
Less hot water can be used by installing low-flow shower heads. They cost around $ 10 to $ 20 each. They save 300 lbs of CO2 each year for electrical water heaters, or 80 pounds for gas-heated water. People are more likely to use a greater amount of hot water in the winter months. The holiday season is the perfect time to start making changes.
Weather proofing your home’s windows and doors is something else that can be done. If the windows and doors are not properly sealed, the heat produced is just going to escape to the outside. This means the heating source will have to work even harder to heat the home. Applying caulk or weather stripping is an easy fix.
Homeowners can also invest in energy star appliances. These appliances will save energy during the holidays and throughout the year as well. Purchasing energy star appliances may also bring a tax credit the following year when filing taxes.
Using CFL light bulbs in place of standard light bulbs is another cost cutting measure that should be taken. If a homeowner continues this practice on into the rest of the year even more money can be saved.
Entertaining during the holiday season can be very fun. There will be a lot more dishes than normal. Instead of using the dishwasher to dry, they can be air dried.
Replacing air filters will also save energy. It is highly important in winter to maintain an effective filter. The heating unit will run more which in turn makes the need for a clean filter higher. Cleaning or replacing filters help energy consumption thus lowering the electricity bill.
One last thing to consider is when placing lights, only use them on the inside of the home. If one chooses to decorate the outside, use lights sparingly but decorate with wreaths, garland and other non-electrical decorations.
Energy use sky-rockets to all time highs during the holiday season. A study done in 2003 performed by the U.S. Department of Energy found that Americans use roughly 2,220 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity each holiday season by using standard incandescent holiday lights. Small changes make big differences when combined with other small changes. It is not so hard to make an impact on ones energy consumption.
Changing to a different light bulb, setting a timer, lowering a water heater setting, caulking a crack, or unplugging an appliance: all of these little things will make a big change to your holiday electricity bills.
Bounce Energy is a Texas Electric Company based in Houston. Bounce Energy’s goal is provide more than low Texas Electric Rates to our customers. With innovative and flexible plans, excellent customer service, and superior customer rewards, Bounce Energy offers a unique approach to Texas electricity.