Reduce Holiday Energy Costs
Get the most for your holiday dollar
Reducing holiday energy costs doesn't mean reducing your holiday enjoyment. In fact, the extra money you save in energy costs can go towards other Christmas expenses, or better yet, your pocket.Running outdoor Christmas lights is the biggest drain on your electricity bill during the holiday months. Of course the actual cost increase will depend on the type of bulb you use, hours of use and local energy rates. (To determine the approximate cost, use our energy cost calculator). The amount of energy used by each bulb is measured in watts: C7 and C9 bulbs use 4-10 watts; mini light bulbs use 0.4 watts and LED light bulbs use 0.04 watts. The smaller the number of watts, the less energy is used. Therefore LED lights conserve the most energy.
Switching to LED Christmas lights is just one way to reduce your holiday energy costs. Here are other ways to save:
- Limit the number of hours you run Christmas lights to 3-5 hours.
Christmas lights off during the day and when you're not at home.
- Use a timer to turn Christmas lights on and off automatically.
- Reduce the number of strings of lights; do you really need to outline the entire garage?
- Reconsider icicle lights. They use the same amount of energy as mini lights, there are more lights per linear foot than other light strings and icicle light strings are shorter. Therefore, you'll require more strings, which costs more to run.
- Consider using Christmas spotlights instead of light strings; they come in halogen and incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs use more energy, but halogen bulbs generate more heat; make your choice according to where you'll place the spotlight.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, which use far less energy. The difference in savings can be used towards running your Christmas lights.
- Use Christmas lawn ornaments such as reindeer statues; they don't require electricity.
There are also ways to reduce holiday energy costs inside your home:
Christmas tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
- When possible, use the microwave instead of the oven to cook your holiday meals; microwaves use 75% less energy than ovens.
- Use a slow cooker to cook meals. It uses less energy than both the microwave and the oven.
- Don't open the oven door to check on cooking food; it lets out heat, which increases cooking time, which in turn increases energy costs.
- Lower the thermostat during the day when nobody's home.