Lights are part of the holiday season. One of the popular traditions is driving around town looking at homes with wonderful holiday decorations. Of course, lights mean one thing…electricity.
And more electricity means a bump in the monthly utility costs.
For those with homes that are already the talk of the neighborhood or thinking about making an upgrade, then the experts at Christmas Lights, Etc. provided some rough estimates. Of course, if you need more outlets for your lights, then SolvIt is happy to help provide our electrical expertise.
Increasingly, many people are using LED lights for their home trees. LED lights are a great initial step because they are cheaper (as shown in the comparison between incandescent and LED usage costs). According to the US Department of Energy, LED lights:
cost $0.27 to light a 6-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days, compared to $10 for incandescent lights.
But outside of LED lights, which do cost a little more upfront, what actions can homeowners take to help reduce their utility bill?
The quickest way to reduce electricity costs is reduce the use of lights. There are a few ways to keep your home decorated to meet your desire and still cut back. Here are a few ideas.
Use a Timer
Most homeowners are aware that timers are very helpful during the holiday season because a timer ensures lights are turned off when the sun rises. Also, timers will turn on the lights when homeowners are stuck at work or attending that holiday party.
Find a Battery Pack
It may not be the right fit for every home and homeowner, but a battery powered decoration will not impact the energy bill. A simple window candle can provide a classy feel to the right home and only requires a few AA batteries.
Another quick hack to reduce energy costs is add some tinsel to the tree. Instead of adding more lights to fill out the tree, then add tinsel or other mirrored ornaments that reflect light and add depth to the tree.
Enjoy the Christmas Tree Lights
A simple step to reduce energy is enjoy the Christmas tree lights. When everyone is gathered around the tree for some fine holiday discussion, then turn off the room lights.
Use Extension Cords
Extension cords are great ways to ensure that lights are not wasted. Frequently, there are portions outside the home that are not visible from the road, but often have lights covering trees and shrubs. Use extension cords, which will reduce energy consumption and ensure only the lights are visible.
Cool Your Cooking
Depending on your kitchen, you may or may not have an electric stove. Regardless of gas or electric, the following cooking tips will help save costs during the holidays.
Multi-Task in the Kitchen
Baking is a big part of the holidays. As the season progresses, then it becomes crunch time in the kitchen. To save time and money, consider multi-tasking while baking. Plan accordingly and bake items that require the same cooking temperature at the same time.
Don’t Play with the Pots and Pans
A simple solution that is applicable year-round is let your food cook! Try to avoid peeking while waiting for water to boil. This will keep the heat inside the pots and food will cook faster. The same tip works for the oven as well because opening the oven door for even a few seconds lowers the temperature inside by as much as 25°F.
Also, match the burner with size of the pot to reduce waste. Don’t use the small burner with the gallon pot to make those mashed potatoes!
Finally, think twice about the fireplace. Homeowners should keep in mind that an open chimney flue is about the same as an open window. Granted, a nice fire glowing in the fireplace next to the tree is a wonderful holiday experience, but it will impact the monthly bill.
As you consider these steps to cut back on your energy consumption, there is no reason to cut back on the holiday spirit. For those concerned about costs, then review a Holiday Lighting Calculator to estimate your monthly expense.
Part of the conserving costs is simply understanding the what drives them. During the holidays, then the amount of energy are driven by the watt usage, so taking a few simple actions to cut back on total watts will help lower the monthly bill.
We wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday. Enjoy the lights around town and hopefully a few extra goodies with those savings!