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How to Save Energy During the Holidays


The holiday season is generally a big time for energy use, but that doesn't mean it has to be that way. Here are 14 ways to save energy (and money) during the holidays:

1. Switch to LED Christmas Lights

LED Christmas lights use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights, and can be purchased for around $10 a strand. Want to learn more?

2. Use Fiber Optic Decorations

Fiber optic trees and decorations are the ultimate in energy efficiency. In most cases, they use a single light bulb located in the base of the unit to light the entire decoration – now that's energy smart and budget smart!

3. Limit the Time Lights are On

Wait until dark to turn on your Christmas lights; then, turn them off before you go to bed. Six hours or less of daily use is a good goal to aim for. Do you have trouble remembering to turn your lights on and off? Then, set a timer, and forget about it.

4. Turn Off Room Lights When the Tree is Lit

The lights on your Christmas tree should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room.

5. Decorate with Candles

Christmas lights are nice, but so are candles. Set up luminaries along your walkway and lit candles throughout your home to achieve a beautiful holiday glow, without adding to the electric bill.

6. Turn the Thermostat Down When You Have Guests

Extra bodies in the house means extra warmth at no cost to you.

7. Buy Gifts that Don't Use Electricity or Batteries

According to energyquest.ca.gov, 40% off all batteries are purchased during the holiday season. That's a lot of money spent on batteries, and a lot of energy used! Make a pledge to buy energy-free gifts, and skip the expense entirely.

8. Invest in Rechargeable Batteries and a Charger

If you buy or receive gifts that require batteries, consider purchasing rechargeable batteries and a charger. Recent advancements have made rechargeable batteries better than ever.

9. Buy Energy Star Electronics

Energy Star certified electronics – TVs, DVD players, VCRs and cordless phones – use up to 60 – less electricity that their non-certified counterparts. Visit energystar.gov for a list of qualifying models, and shop smart.

10. Take a Walk to See the Christmas Lights

Leave the car in the driveway this year when you go out to look at Christmas lights. A walking tour of your neighborhood will be just as fun, and won't use any gas.
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