8 Ways to Cut Your Holiday Energy Bill

The holidays can be an expensive time of year with house guests, holiday meals, and festive lights pushing up your utility bill. Now if you do your lights up as much as the house here, these tips won't save you that much. However, for the rest of us, these tips can be money savers,

1. Set time on your side - Set timers for your holiday displays to turn off before bedtime so you don’t accidentally leave the lights on all night.

2. Get guests on board with saving energy - Remind guests to turn off lights and fans when they leave the room. Stopping one ceiling fan from running all the time and turning at least one light off when you leave the room can save you more than $7 a month on your electric bill.

3. Stop peeking at cooking food - Ovens lose a lot of heat when opened and require significant energy to heat back up to the appropriate temperature. Instead, when you have to sneak a peek, turn the oven light on and look through the interior window.

4. Choose glass or ceramic pans for the oven -These pans heat faster than metal ones and allow you to set the temperature 25 degrees lower than a recipe suggests for the same cooking time.

5. Use Crock-Pots and microwaves - Use smaller appliances such as Crock-Pots, microwaves, and toaster ovens when possible. These can be much more energy-efficient for side dishes or small meals.

6. Wait to wash - Wash only full loads in laundry machines and dishwashers. Use the energy saver, air-dry cycle in the dishwasher and cold water in the washing machine.

7. Bake before you clean - Use the self-cleaning oven feature only when necessary and start the self-cleaning cycle immediately after the oven is used to take advantage of pre-existing heat.

8. Deck the halls with LEDs - When it comes to holiday lighting, LED lights are the bright choice to get you more for your money. The amount of power it takes to operate just one 7-watt incandescent holiday bulb could power two 24-foot LED strings — enough to light a 6-foot tree. Additionally, LED light strings last about 10 times longer.

Sources: Florida Power & Light, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
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