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Energy Saving Tips to Make your Holiday More Energy Efficient

December 5, 2012

The holidays are nearly upon us! It’s a time to celebrate with friends and family, and to look forward to a new year full of promise and hope.

The thing is, it’s also a time when expenses tend to suddenly skyrocket and, if you’re not careful, this could include your utility bill! So, we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a few holiday energy saving tips for you, so that you can spend your money on what’s important like gifts for the family instead of high energy bills!

Kitchen Tips

  • You don’t need to preheat your oven for turkey or ham, which are long and slow cooking.
  • Check on cooking food by turning on the oven light; opening the oven door can lower the temperature by as much as 25 degrees.
  • Cook multiple dishes at the same time; just make sure there’s enough room for the heat to circulate.
  • With an electric oven, turn off the heat a few minutes before food is fully cooked; the shut door will enable the residual heat to complete the cooking. This also applies to electric stove tops: heating elements remain hot even after they’re switched off.
  • If using glass or ceramic pans, reduce heat by 25 degrees – the food will cook just as quickly.
  • Ensure range tops and burners are clean so they can function more effectively.
  • Keep fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible to prevent cold air from escaping. Take out as many items as possible at one time so you don’t need to keep opening and closing the door.
  • Wash dishes in a dishwasher: a load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher requires 37 per cent less water than washing dishes by hand.
  • Make use of the eco settings on your appliances. Dishwashers featuring air power or overnight dry settings can save up to 10 per cent on dishwasher energy costs.
  • Use your microwave and toaster oven for smaller holiday dishes instead of the oven.
  • Keep lids on pots to ensure food cooks faster and uses less energy.

General Tips

  • Switch to LED Christmas lights that use 90 per cent less electricity than regular Christmas lights.
  • Use timers to turn lights off and on; they can help you manage your lighting costs more effectively.
  • Check holiday lights for any damage or frayed wires; replace the entire set if you find any.
  • Consider decorating your tree with edible ornaments such as gingerbread men, candy canes, strings of popcorn and cranberries. Avoid candles as they could pose a fire hazard and cause indoor air quality problems.
  • Turn off the lights in the room when the tree is lit.
  • Turn down the thermostat when you have guests. Having more people in the house translates into extra warmth at no cost to you.
  • Consider buying rechargeable batteries and a charger for any gifts requiring batteries.
  • If you’re going to be buying electronics, choose ENERGY STAR certified ones. They use up to 60 per cent less electricity than their non-certified counterparts.

Calculate how many watts you’re using by multiplying the number of holiday bulbs by the number of watts per bulb (use 10 watts as default if you’re unsure about bulb wattage). Also don’t forget to include any other electrical equipment that may be running on the same circuit.

We wish you the most festive of holidays and a safe and wonderful New Year!

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