Clever Ways to Save on Electricity During the Christmas Season
Clever Ways to Save on Electricity During the Christmas Season
“We believe the electricity exists because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it, but we cannot figure out how it travels inside wires” - Dave Barry.
It has been said that with great power comes a great electricity bill.
And now, with the holidays looming over us, it seems like we can anticipate the electric bill to be even heftier. As it is, the holidays have an air of festivity about them that demands more of our resources. Most of us will be entertaining family, friends, and guests in our homes. It is, after all, the merriest time of the year when we spend time making unforgettable memories, being thankful and appreciative of what we have, and welcoming glad tidings.
As Filipinos, it has also been our long-standing tradition to go all-out when it comes to decorating our houses for the holidays. Indeed, it is that one time of the year when we deck the halls with festive decorations and light up our homes to better fit the merriment of the season. Unfortunately, all these energy-guzzling decorations can put quite a strain on your electric bill expenses. And with everything you will likely be spending for during the holidays, you cannot really afford for your electric expenses to balloon. More importantly, excessive energy use can negatively impact the environment.
However, you do not need to cut the holiday fun short and be a scrooge just to save energy. Whether you just moved into a new house and lot for sale in Pangasinan or have been living somewhere for quite a while, you can definitely benefit from conserving energy during the holidays.
Fortunately, this article will come as an early holiday treat for you. Below is a list of clever ways to save on electricity during the Christmas season:
1.) Create an energy checklist
If you are really serious about saving energy for the holidays and scaling down your electricity expenses, one of the initial things you should do is create an energy checklist. Your checklist should contain every single element of your home’s energy usage. Some of the things your energy checklist should include are lighting, appliances, thermostat, equipment, and the like. In the creation of an energy checklist ahead of the holiday season, be sure to check and visit every room in your house and add everything—including equipment and lighting—that is likely to affect your energy consumption so that you can effectively cut down on energy expenses.
2.) Use alternative holiday string lights such as LED
During the day and while the sun is out, no one is likely to notice your bedecked porch and the sparkly icicle lights you have hanging off your eaves. More importantly, your inflatables do not need to be any brighter to get noticed, so they do not need to be lit. Turn those lights off while the sun is out to save energy and lower your electric bill during the holidays. Similarly, you may want to try alternative holiday lighting options, such as energy-efficient Christmas lights. You can do this by replacing your old incandescent ones with LED lights or simply buying timed Christmas lights that will shut off automatically.
3.) Limit your Christmas light use
Your holiday decorations tend to shine brighter if there is no other light source competing with them. That said, they are far more noticeable if they are the only ones lit up in your home. By the time they are turned on, be sure to switch off ceiling lights, lamps, and outdoor lights. This will create a cozier Christmas ambiance and also give you the added benefit of reducing your overall energy usage. Alternatively, you may also consider buying a smart plug for the holiday lights outlet as well. In this way, you can either use voice control or smartphone apps to turn the lights off for you anytime it is convenient. Some of these smart plugs even have a built-in timer to turn your lights on and off, which will be pretty nifty if you are trying to cut down on energy expenses.
4.) Get creative
Beautiful holiday decorations are not exclusive to hanging Christmas lights. If you want to keep the holiday magic alive, there are plenty of options to do so without the added strain on your electric bill expenses. To keep your electric bill from skyrocketing, be creative and choose alternative decorations that do not require electricity, such as ribbons, garlands, and wreaths. You can even take it a step further by going green and making them friendlier to the environment. You can do this by using recycled materials. If you want to give your holiday decorations that wow effect without the added electricity expense, opt to use ornaments that have high reflective properties, as these give off light and can add that much-needed sparkle to your decors and displays.
5.) Pay attention to electricity peak hours during this holiday
It is also wise to know when the electricity peak hours are in your city. This is so you can prevent an excessive surge and increase in your electricity bill by turning off your lights at those times, or you can simply avoid turning them at all. Electricity peak hours are when the demand for energy is higher, which would likely mean higher prices. During Christmas time, we tend to turn our lights on more and resultantly spend more on energy bills. This comes from all the decorative lighting, cooking, cleaning, and simultaneous appliances being turned on. For this reason, using electricity strategically in the holiday season is imperative if you wish to save money.
6.) Try and downsize your lawn and porch decorations
Understandably, you want to bedeck your porches and lawns with all the works and holiday decors. This probably means having several wreaths, string lights, and a series of inflatables. After all, how else are the neighbors going to know that you are in a seriously festive mood if you did not light up your house with decor upon decors? Indeed, Christmas lights can do wonders to make your house stand out and light up during the holidays. However, if you have everything going on at once, it can only do so much. That said, try an alternative in which decorations get used in a year.
In this way, every Christmas will be different, and your lawn and yard decor will look brand new because your neighbors did not see them in the last year. More importantly, it makes for a more cohesive and sensible aesthetic to only put holiday items that seem to go together. Also, this is a nifty way to save on energy when it comes to holiday lights, as you can alternate which colors would go together in a given year. For this year, maybe Santa and his reindeer should stay in the stock room and have Frosty the snowman have the spotlight all to himself.
7.) Prepare Christmas dinner in new ways
Holidays are all about sharing meals together with family and friends. Preparing meals does not mean simply updating your recipe, as there are far better ways of preparing big feasts, such as a holiday dinner, that can save you time and energy. If multiple people are coming over to have a meal at your place, why not have a potluck? In this way, your stove can have that much-needed rest, and you can still have a perfect holiday dinner. Get your family and friends to chip in a meal item of their choice. Apart from saving on electric bills, your grocery bill will thank you for cutting down on meal ingredient expenses as well.
8.) Cook more efficiently
If, however, you are to be cooking different meals by yourselves, be sure to prepare your meal items ahead of time so that items can bake at the same temperature and can be cooked together. Also, this is an excellent way to cut down the time your oven needs to be turned on. Additionally, it is more efficient to cook in a crockpot than on the stove, which allows you to let the gravy simmer away, while you can use your time to tend to other tasks and get more done with your holiday cooking.
9.) Make use of the oven light
In lieu of opening the oven door, turn on the oven light to check on the food. In this way, you can prevent heat loss. Also, it is worth noting that the oven temperature drops by as much as twenty-five percent every time you open your oven door. Apart from adding to your energy consumption, this adds to your cooking time as your oven will need to get back to the required temperature to continue cooking. Also, if you are cooking on a stove, be sure to put lids on pots to keep them hot as much as possible. In this way, you can save on cooking time and electricity as well.
Indeed, there are innumerable ways to conserve during the holiday season—some of which are enumerated above. Focusing on family-oriented activities and having more guests over does not mean you have to consume more electricity if you are smart about your consumption.
You might be surprised just how easy it is to save energy just by enjoying each other’s company and doing the little things during the holidays. Go for a walk in the neighborhood and enjoy your neighbor’s decors as well. By focusing on the little things, you can save more energy and give the season of giving a little more heart and meaning.