Unwrap Energy Savings This Holiday Season

The holidays are expensive. The average American spends $700 on gifts and goodies, totaling more than $465 billion, according to estimates by the National Retail Federation.

Add to that the increased cost of heating your home during the winter, hosting holiday parties and plugging in a tangle of extension cords to power thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, and your budget may be blown.

Learn how to stretch your holiday budget this Christmas by following our simple Naughty or Nice Energy-Saving Checklist.

Keep the Oven Door Closed
Every time you open the door, the oven’s temperature drops about 25-30 degrees and more energy is used to generate the desired level of heat. Try using the oven light instead.

Choose LED lights
Add extra pizazz to your holiday display this year without adding a lot to your energy bill. Strands of LED lights can save you more than 75 percent compared to your old incandescent lights. Plus, they put off less heat, helping to reduce the risk of fire and they last up to 10 years longer.

Be an Energy Savvy Shopper
Always buy Energy Star certified products and study them to see how much it will cost in annual energy consumption. Energy Star certified televisions are 25 percent more efficient than older models. Also, laptops require 50 to 80 percent less energy than desktop computers.

Timing Counts
Invest in timers so your holiday lights come on at dark and automatically switch off when everyone goes to sleep rather than keeping them on when no one is around to enjoy them.

Choose the Proper Burner
Sizing pots to the right stove top burner can make a big difference. A six-inch pot on an eight-inch burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Also, covering pots and pans reduces heat loss and allows food to cook more efficiently.