Have Yourselves a Festive and Energy-Savvy Holiday Season - firstenergyhome | Blog

Have Yourself a Festive and Energy-Savvy Holiday Season

Tips for reducing household energy consumption without losing a single festive moment.

The holidays will be here faster than you might expect. This joyous occasion is also a time of higher energy consumption in the typical American household. You might turn up the heat, string lights, decorate the tree, and perhaps have your kitchen appliances working overtime as you bake cookies and make holiday meals for guests.

That’s why we bring you these tips for reducing household energy consumption without losing a single festive moment.*

  • Adopt an energy-smart holiday lighting strategy – It does little good to light your house when the family’s away or everyone is asleep. Or during the day, when your decorative lighting won’t even be noticed. A good rule of thumb is that your tree and holiday lighting should be on for only about six hours a day. If the family keeps forgetting to turn off the lighting before going to bed, consider using a timer.
  • Turn off your everyday lighting when the tree is lit – Not only will the space look warmer, cozier and more festive -- it will also cut energy costs. For most purposes, your tree and decorative lighting will provide all the illumination you need.
  • Let candles light your way – There’s nothing that looks more elegant or traditional than candle lighting around the holidays. They also burn electricity-free. Just remember never to leave your candles lit when no one is around. And keep them out of the way of pets and small children.
  • Consolidate your oven and kitchen appliance use – Remember, a nearly empty oven expends as much energy as one that’s full. Set aside a day for holiday cooking or baking and you’ll make more efficient use of your kitchen appliances. Also, use smaller and less energy-wasteful appliances, such as microwave ovens and toaster ovens, when appropriate.
  • Turn down the thermostat when entertaining – A home full of holiday partiers or dinner guests can quickly heat a space. Your guests will appreciate it when you dial down, and you’ll save money too. Smart products such as the Google Nest Learning Thermostat and the Honeywell Home T9 Thermostat with Sensor are essential to efficient temperature control. Easily preset your thermostat or program it from your smartphone to always have the most comfortable holiday temperature reading.
  • Check out the neighborhood lighting on foot – Is it a tradition in your home to all hop in the car to see your neighborhood’s most breathtaking holiday lighting displays? This year, consider taking in the scene on foot, perhaps after a filling holiday dinner. You’ll enjoy the exercise, get a closer look at the lighting displays and spend nothing on vehicle fuel. Everybody wins.
  • Use Energy Star® electronics this holiday season – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards its Energy Star® certification to the most energy-efficient electronic appliances and devices. . Energy Star® products can expend up to 60% less energy than non-certified devices. Would an Energy Star® refrigerator make a great holiday gift for someone close?
  • Unplug to conserve energy – Whether or not your appliances and devices are Energy Star® certified, they still consume some electricity even when turned off if they’re plugged into the house current. The savings stack up when you unplug the televisions, radios, computers, printers and other devices when not in use.

We think you’ll find that none of these money-saving, energy-conserving tips are challenging to incorporateinto your holiday festivities. Your holidays will be just as memorable, your celebrations as joyous. But at the same time, you’ll be doing your small part to make our planet greener.

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

© 2020 FirstEnergy Home

*From The Balance, How to Use Less Energy During the Holidays