Your holidays should be memorable for all the right reasons – visits with family and friends and the continuing of beloved traditions – but not for the size of your energy bill.
We all know the year-end holidays can be a time of heavy electricity use, especially if you’re entertaining or decorating. These seven tips from PPL Electric Utilities can help you keep your usage and your costs under control.
1. Get the LED out. Whether you’re using them in living room lamps or holiday decorations, LED bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than conventional bulbs and last up to 20 times longer. Make this the season to switch to LEDs, if you haven’t already. (If your holiday decorations are wearing out and showing their age, a new set of LEDs may also be safer.)
2. Stay warm – and smart. Heating accounts for more than 30 percent of a typical home’s energy bill – the largest single cost. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees for energy savings, and use a programmable thermostat to lower it overnight or when no one is home. And remember: Cranking up the thermostat won’t make your house warm up faster, since your heating system runs at the same rate, regardless of the temperature setting.
3. STAR power. If you’re buying electronics as a holiday gift, or updating your own appliances, look for devices with the ENERGY STAR® label. These are the most energy-efficient models available. To learn more about ENERGY STAR-rated products, visit www.energystar.gov.
4. Don’t peek. The pie’s doing fine. Your oven temperature could drop by 25 to 50 degrees when you open the door, forcing the oven to work harder and produce more heat. So keep those glimpses few and far between.
5. Scrub now, save later. Keep oven surfaces and drip pans as clean as possible. A clean stove and oven will heat efficiently; a dirty stove and oven will use more energy than necessary to reach the desired temperature. Speaking of which …
6. A keen time to clean. …got a self-cleaning oven? Start it right after you’re done baking. Self-cleaning ovens reach temperatures of 850 degrees, and the heat already in the oven can give them a head start. (Just make sure to take the cookies out first.)
7. Slow and low. Slow cookers and microwaves are energy-efficient alternatives to firing up the oven. During the holidays, look for recipes that take advantage of these appliances. Use them for quick, easy weeknight meals.
More energy-saving tips for homes and businesses are available in the Save Energy & Money section of our website.