Have a Holiday Season That’s as Smart as it is Festive - firstenergyhome | Blog

Have a Holiday Season That’s as Smart as it is Festive

Consider these tips to reduce energy consumption over the holidays with absolutely no loss of seasonal celebration.

Chances are, you’ve already started to consider your seasonal lighting and decorating strategy even before you hear the first holiday greeting. As you plan your decorating and gift-giving, consider these tips1 to reduce energy consumption over the holidays with absolutely no loss of seasonal celebration:

  • Use energy-smart electronic devices – You’ll likely consume more energy with your holiday decorating, both indoors and out, than you might over other periods of the year. That makes it the perfect occasion to try some of the many smart electronic devices on the market. For instance, smart plugs and timers like the Wemo Mini Smart Plug let you turn your lighting on and off by timer and control the functionality from your smartphone or laptop. Your lights do not need to be on all day while you are away from home for your decorations to be seen after the sun goes down. Only light up when you want to. As an added benefit, this technology can keep unwanted visitors unaware of your coming and going.
  • Say it with candles – Not all your decorating must be electric-powered. With candles, you’ll get a touch of intrigue, romance, tradition and a warm glow to your decorating palette. And no electrical energy consumption. But stay safe – keep candles out of the reach of small kids or pets. And don’t forget to blow them out before you go to bed or leave home.
  • Reduce your battery consumption for gifts and decorating – Battery production consumes energy and they end up in landfills when discarded. If you give it some thought, you’ll find plenty of gifts, even for kids, that don’t require batteries. Decorating features like bows, wreaths and garland never need a change of batteries.
  • Consider going with a fiber optic holiday tree – Want to really shake things up this year? A fiber optic tree isn’t traditional, but it says your family is ready to party! But not at a high cost. This festive display comes from energy-efficient LED lighting.
  • Dial down, layer up – Okay, this last one doesn’t directly deal with holiday lighting or decorating. It’s the time of year that’s the coldest for most of us, and many families deal with “the battle of the thermostat.” It’s easier than you might think to save on your energy bills mid-winter while still managing to keep everyone comfy. Keep the temperature setting cooler, and encourage family members to wear sweaters or sweatshirts around the house. Investigate the multiple advantages of such smart devices like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat or the Honeywell Home T9 Thermostat with Sensor. Both put you in control of the temperature from wherever you are. Pre-program the controls by a timer. Or, from your phone or laptop, set the heat low when the family’s away, then dial up just before everyone returns. You’ll be amazed at how much you can cut your energy bills this winter.

The parting message is that your seasonal festivities will be just as dazzling as always, but it’s possible to cut energy consumption in the process. Happy holidays!

We invite you to link to more information on this and related subjects at the FirstEnergy Home Learning Library.

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1From Direct Energy Live Brighter Blog How can I be more energy efficient during the holidays?