Saving electricity over the festive season
The festive season is upon us. The holidays are a time of family and food, fond memories and festive cheer. However, we all know that this season can also be an expensive time, and you’d probably rather spend your money on gifts, family holidays, or outings.
If you haven’t made the shift to solar energy yet, there are still ways that you can save electricity. Here’s a gift everyone can enjoy: a list of 8 holiday energy-saving tips. You’ll rest easier knowing that you’re only using as much electricity as you need. And that means less anxiety about holiday expenses — and more visions of a fun festive season!
- Switch to LED lights for inside your home
Using LED (light-emitting diodes) lights will bring your holiday power consumption way down. When it comes to energy-efficient Christmas decorations, LEDs are winners. These string lights don’t just use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights. They also last between 50,000 and 200,000 hours. That’s less waste in landfills, since you don’t have to replace them as often.
- Use solar fairy lights for outdoor festive décor
If you choose to decorate the outside of your home with pretty lighting, explore the many solar fairy lights and décor that are now widely available. Once correctly installed, these draw on the sun’s energy, and with very little effort, can help your home become the prettiest in the lane!
- Use smart plugs and timers for your holiday lights.
Smart plugs transform ordinary lights into smart Christmas decorations. Remembering to turn off Christmas tree lights and exterior decorations can be a chore, especially if you have several displays and have to switch off multiple installations. A holiday energy-saving tip is to plug them into smart plugs and program the timers to switch the lights on and off at certain times. Or use your smartphone to turn them on whenever you want. It’s a great way to avoid wasting energy during the holidays.
- Give yourself the gift of smart tech.
Smart tech can save you or your gift recipients energy and money while providing control, convenience, and security. Smart technology is becoming more and more affordable and makes a significant impact on your expense management. For instance, the benefits of a smart plug include providing control over energy use, the convenience of remotely controlling devices, and enhancing security by creating a lived-in look to your home. If you plan to invest in these solutions, home automation systems now give you the option of completely centralized management of your electrical devices and home energy use.
- Buy gifts that use alternative energy.
Crank radios and solar-powered torches, phone chargers, and lights are innovative gifts that don’t draw power from the grid. Given the frequent load-shedding, items like solar-powered power banks or outdoor lanterns are useful in any home!
- Switch off your geyser when you go away
It’s a trick as old as time, but one that many still forget. Switch off your geyser when you go on holiday. Geysers account for a large portion of electricity consumption, with estimates ranging from 39 to 50% of a household’s monthly bill. There are various viewpoints regarding whether frequent switching on and off is good for the long term, but occasional switch-offs should not harm the appliance in any way.
For long-term savings, next time your geyser needs replacing, consider a solar geyser.
- Stop phantom energy drain while you’re away.
Did you know many appliances and electronics use energy even when they’re turned off? These “energy vampires” draw energy without you knowing it. If you plan on being away for more than a few days over the holiday, an easy holiday electricity-saving tip is to unplug appliances and other devices before you leave.
- Avoid preheating when possible.
While many recipes call for you to preheat your oven, it isn’t always necessary. Experts point out that anything that needs to be baked or roasted longer than an hour doesn’t need to be put in a preheated oven. Most modern ovens get up to temperature very quickly, so you don’t need to run them for a dozen extra minutes.
You can also reduce electricity use by switching the oven off 10 or 15 minutes before you expect the dish to be done. If you don’t open the oven door, your oven will maintain its temperature so the rest of the cooking can be accomplished without consuming energy.
One last tip: Your cookware matters. Ceramic and glass hold heat better than metal pans, so they will cook food faster with less energy.