We spend all year thinking about ways to effectively monitor and reduce our energy usage, but that becomes more difficult during the holidays. We’re often distracted with decorations and preparations, shopping, cooking and planning. It can be easy to let your guard down and start to see more excessive energy usage than you might have otherwise expected.
However you choose to celebrate this season, United Power has you covered with the most up-to-date energy efficiency tips and tricks to prevent holiday usage spikes. With a little forethought and diligence, it’s easy to find a little savings during this time of year.
Replace Christmas Lights with LEDs
Updating the lighting in your home is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce your energy usage and costs. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are a well-known alternative to traditional lights, and are quickly becoming standard lighting. While many people are making the switch to these lights in their homes, they still might reach for the older, less efficient string lights they’ve always used when decorating for the holidays.
Depending on how festive your holiday display is, the cost of using these lights can really begin to add up – perhaps to the tune of hundreds of dollars! Christmas lights that utilize LEDs, however, are up to 90 percent more efficient and have a far longer life than traditional incandescent lights.
Beware the Holiday Vampires
United Power has regularly talked about vampire loads, which are quickly becoming larger consumers of energy. Vampire loads come from devices that continue to use energy even when they appear to be off, such as TVs, gaming consoles or charging devices. Holiday lights can also contribute to these loads when they stay plugged in throughout the day while not in use. To avoid the additional energy usage, unplug lights during the day or before bed in the evening, or you can plug them into a power strip that can be turned off when not in use.
Give the Gift of Energy Savings
Electronics have become a more common gift item over the past few years, many of which have the capability of using large quantities of energy. “Green gifting” is the practice of gifting electronics that are certified energy efficient, such as those marked by the ENERGY STAR label. These devices are at or better than federal standards for energy efficiency. This allows you to pass on the gift of energy savings to friends and family.
For more energy efficiency tips to help you save on usage throughout the year, visit our Energy Tips page.