The holiday season is just around the corner and soon festive music will flood the airwaves, sparkling lights and decorations will adorn homes and businesses, and good tidings will abound.
The holidays also bring a frenzy of decorating, cooking and family gatherings, and amid the hectic hustle and bustle, and colder temperatures outside, you may receive higher-than-usual energy bills.
Keeping this in mind, I thought this month would be a good time to remind our members of a few programs and efficiency tips to help lower your monthly energy use.
Winter months typically bring some of the highest energy bills of the year. Making minor, low-cost improvements, like weatherstripping exterior doors and caulking around old, drafty windows can make a positive impact on energy bills.
We also offer time-of-use electric rates, which can help you achieve greater savings by controlling when you use the most energy at home.
Our member services representatives are available to help, so I encourage you to give us a call if you’d like to learn about specific programs and services.
My husband and I love driving around the county and looking at all the homes that are decorated this time of year. With holiday lights adorning homes for well over a month, consider replacing those old light strings with new and safer LED options.
LED holiday lights use 88% less energy than incandescent holiday lights. To put that into perspective, the Department of Energy estimates that with standard holiday decorations, LED lights typically increase energy bills by about $5 to $7. But with the older incandescent lights, energy bills will typically increase by $33 or more. Beyond energy savings, LEDs provide additional benefits, such as being shock-resistant, shatterproof and cool to the touch.
You can also lower energy use by conveniently managing holiday lighting. Smart plugs can help you save energy by connecting to a phone app to program lights to turn on and off at set times. Your traditional timers will work too.
If you plan to have family and friends over this holiday season, you can cook up energy savings by using small counter-top appliances like microwaves, air fryers and slow cookers, when possible, as they use significantly less energy than the stove top or oven.
When using the oven, bake multiple dishes at once for maximum efficiency. Once the food is done, leave the stove door ajar to allow the residual heat to warm the room. When using the stove top, match the pan size to the burner to maximize the stove top’s efficiency.
I hope a few of these tips will be helpful as we approach the holiday season. Remember, we’re here to answer any questions you have about managing energy use or your monthly bills. With a little planning, you can find efficient ways to save on everything from holiday décor to your favorite soup recipes.
Your friends at BCREMC hope you have a wonderful holiday season!