Energy-Saving Tips to Brighten Your Holidays

On the first day of Christmas, Union Power gave to me tips and tricks to save energy! That’s right, we’re getting in the energy-saving holiday spirit here at Union Power, and we are sharing tips to help you save energy and money at home during the holidays.

1. Get A Home Energy Assessment – This holiday, give yourself the gift of energy savings with a free consultation (done by phone) with one of our energy specialists. A home energy assessment can help you determine if your home is losing energy – and what you can do to save money – by reviewing your consumption results to determine if your numbers are in line with the size of your home. If an audit is suggested as a next step, then an in-home visit can help identify air leaks, insulation deficiencies, along with heating and cooling equipment inspections, and more. By making upgrades to
your home following a home energy audit, you could save big on your energy bills.For more information, check out union-power.com/auditmyhome.

2. Install A Programmable Thermostat – Don’t pay for warm air that you aren’t using. By installing and setting a programmable thermostat, you can save money on your energy bills. If you are traveling this holiday, be sure to program your thermostat for energy savings.

3. Maintain Your Fireplace – It isn’t the holidays without a crackling fire, but don’t let your energy bills go up with the smoke. Proper chimney maintenance – like sealing your fireplace flue damper, caulking around your hearth, and installing tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system to blow warmed air back into the room – will help keep warm air in your house and cold air out.

4. Prepare Your Windows for Winter – Before you curl up on the couch in front of the window this holiday season, be sure to take steps to reduce heat loss. Weatherizing your windows can reduce drafts, and installing storm windows can cut heat loss through your windows by 25-50%. 

5. Take Advantage of Sunlight – Use sunlight to your  advantage this winter. Open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to warm your home naturally, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.

6. Purchase Rechargeable Batteries & An Energy Star Battery Charger – If you are buying gifts that require batteries, consider purchasing rechargeable batteries — which are more cost-effective than disposable batteries — and an ENERGY STAR charger for them.

7. Save Energy in The Kitchen – Between holiday baking and meal preparation, your oven is probably working overtime. Cooking alone accounts for 4.5% of your home’s energy use, and when factoring in other kitchen appliances, your kitchen’s energy use can be very high. By taking simple actions in the kitchen – like using the right-sized pots on stove burners and using the oven light to check on a dish’s
progress to prevent heat loss instead of opening the door, you can entertain in style without raising your energy bill.   

8. Use LED Lights – This holiday, light up your home with LED lights. In addition to being sturdier and more resistant to breakage, LED holiday lights also last longer and consume less energy than traditional incandescent light strands.

9. Install A Light Timer – When decking your house in holiday lights, use timer controls to lower energy consumption and save money. Timer controls allow you to turn lights on and off at specific times while staying in the holiday spirit.

10. Plug Holiday Decorations into Power Strips – From holiday lights to listening to Christmas carols on repeat, the holidays can take a toll on your home’s energy consumption. Even when you aren’t using lights and electronics, they still draw small amounts of energy. Plug your electronics into a power strip and turn it off to reduce your energy bills.

11. Drive Your Way to Fuel Savings – Whether you are driving across town to do errands or across the country to visit family, fuel costs can add up over the holidays. One way to reduce fuel consumption is to empty your car after all your driving trips; an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could increase gas costs by up to $0.08 a gallon.

Drive an electric vehicle? Learn how you can save by visiting union-power.com/electricvehicles.

Ultimately, there are numerous steps that can be taken to manage and potentially reduce your energy consumption this holiday season. Taking the initiative to be energy efficient will not only positively impact your finances, but it will also increase your home’s comfort. We at Union Power hope that you have a happy and healthy holiday season and that you take extra steps to manage your energy consumption during this time of year.