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

young boy looking at Christmas decoration with lit-up tree in background
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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 green lights
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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

Christmass tree timer in outlet
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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

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

5
Decorate with Candles

Christmas candles
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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

Christmas dinner with table full of guests
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Extra bodies in the house means extra warmth at no cost to you.

7
Buy Gifts that Don't Use Electricity or Batteries

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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

rechargeable batteries
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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 washing machine
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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

family looking at house decorated for Christmas
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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.

11
Bake Several Dishes at a Time

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The holiday season is a big time for baking. Make the most of your oven and the energy that goes into heating it, by cooking several dishes at once. Remember: it takes the same amount of energy to heat a full oven as it does a nearly-empty one.

12
Use the Smallest Appliance to Get the Job Done

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Use your microwave and toaster oven for small holiday cooking tasks; save the oven for big cooking tasks.

13
Keep Lids on Pots

pot with top cooking on stove
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Foods cook faster (meaning less energy use) when the lid is on.

14
Unplug Phantom Energy Users Before You Go On Vacation

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TVs, DVD players, computers, printers, radios and many other electronics use energy even when they aren’t turned on. Unplug these items before you go on vacation, and enjoy the energy savings.

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