It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And one of the most expensive. Between the gifts, travel, and all those many, many lights, it’s a wonder anyone survives the holidays without a second mortgage. While we may not be able to help with your kid’s Christmas list or your uncle’s gas guzzler parked in your driveway, we can offer a few suggestions to lower your holiday electric bill. Follow these tips to keep your days merry and bright — and inexpensive!
Switch to LED Holiday Lights
If you’re using traditional incandescent lights, switch to the more efficient LED holiday lights. They may cost a little more upfront, but you’ll save energy when running them. How much? According to Energy.gov, running a standard C-7 light string (125 bulbs) for 12 hours per day for 40 days will cost you $25.13. Running a strand of LED lights (280 bulbs) will cost you $0.56. You can buy a lot of stocking stuffers with those savings.
Light a Fire
Nothing says holiday warmth like a roaring fireplace, or festive candles lighting the night. These easy and cheerful solutions will help you save on electric, oil, and gas costs, while warming your heart and lighting your spirit. Be sure to be careful with fire around children. For extra safety around young children, consider battery-operated flameless candles.
Time It Right
The holidays are a time of nonstop activity. It’s easy to forget to turn off the outdoor holiday lights during the day. To save energy and avoid paying for elaborate light displays when no one can see them, purchase and use a timer. Let your light shine… but only when you want it to!
Festive meals are the centerpiece of a holiday celebration. But cooking them can use a lot of electricity. Check out the California Energy Commission for some useful tips to save energy when you’ve got extra cooks in the kitchen. One great tip: when cooking on the stovetop, lose less heat by matching the size of the pan to the size of the heating element. A six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner wastes more than 40 percent of the energy!
While the holidays are rough on your electric bill, gas costs can be difficult as well. There are so many errands to run, whether shopping for gifts, picking up relatives at the airport, or running back and forth to the grocery store. To save on gas, shop close to home or online, and try to buy as many things as you can in one trip. Plan your weekly menus carefully at home so you can get everything you need in one trip to the grocery store.
While the celebrations of the season can be expensive, it’s possible to keep costs down while making cherished memories with family. And that uncle with the gas guzzler? Consider slipping a photo of a hybrid in his Christmas stocking. Happy holidays from SunBlue Energy!