‘Tis the Season to Save Energy as the holiday season is here! While we at Vert Energy Group hope you’re taking some much-needed time off to spend with loved ones, we want to remind you that Energy never takes a break. That’s why we wanted to give you some helpful Energy saving tips to keep the fun going, but not break the bank.
Fun Fact: LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs use 75% less energy than standard lights.
Every holiday season you see houses decked out with the flashiest and fanciest of lights. Every year those houses – unless they’re using LED lights – are seeing a surge in their electric bills. You can still go all out on decorations, but instead of using decorations with standard lights try switching to LED options. Not only do LEDs use 75% less energy than standard lights, but they also last longer. According to Energy Star, LED options can last up to 100,000 hours, are safer, and more durable than regular lights.
It’s not just about making the switch to LED options though. You want to keep in mind how long you let the decorations stay on. Gas South recommends that you should only keep your decorations lit for six-hours of the day and only turn them on once it’s dark out. Some lights have timer functions so put that function to use. If you know it gets dark and bright out in your area at a certain time, set the timer to turn your lights on and off during that timeframe.
One of our personal favorite lighting tips is to turn off all the lights in the house after dinner and just use the lights coming from the Christmas lights. Not only do the lights provide a warm – or colorful depending on your lights – glow to your rooms, but it makes it all the cozier. It creates the perfect environment and mood to cozy up with a loved one or furry friend and watch some holiday movies all while helping to save just a bit of energy.
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Prepping a Holiday Feast
Holiday meals – whether big or small – is a staple in many homes during the holidays. While the menus may vary, the common thing many of us can relate to is all the prep required. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cooking alone can account for roughly 4.5% of total home energy usage. Though 4.5% isn’t extreme, there are some ways you can cut back on the usage and save some money all while prepping your holiday feast.
Three common, and often overlooked, tips we can all apply when cooking is adjusting the thermostat, preparing dishes with the same temperature settings simultaneously, and using ceramic dishes and wide pots. First up – adjusting your thermostat. Energy company, Constellation, states that by simply lowering your thermostat while cooking, you can decrease your energy usage by 3%. As long as all your windows and doors aren’t open, you won’t have to worry about freezing as the heat from your oven and stove combined with the body heat in the room will keep you and your guests warm.
Second: bake similar dishes at the same time. Doing this will save you energy and time as it allows you to check on multiple dishes at once – just remember to try to use the oven window and light feature when applicable. Each time you open the oven door heat escapes reducing the temperature up to 25 degrees. As a result, the oven will have to work harder to bring the temperature back up and thus more energy is used. The same goes for cooking on the stove – the more you open the lid, the more heat escapes. The takeaway: keep your oven doors and pot lids closed.
Finally, try to cook in ceramic or glass dishes as the material can contain heat generated better than their metal counterparts. If you’re using the stovetop, use pans with wide bottoms that will cover the burner. Energy.gov found that roughly $18-36 dollars a month can be saved just by using the right pot when using your stove.
Saving energy isn’t just applicable to your home or business during the holidays. All these tips can be adopted into your everyday life for year-round energy savings.