The holiday season is upon us. Every year around this time, we see the decorations come out and the competitions amongst neighbors begin. Whether you like to keep it simple or have a home you can probably see from space, it’s not just the cost of the decorations that can add up.
It’s easy to overlook the “soft costs” of the season – your soaring energy usage and subsequent bills. Here are a few tips to lighten your energy load while allowing you to light up your home for the holidays.
Buy energy-efficient lights
Replace your old incandescent lights with ENERGY STAR LED lights, which use up to 90% less energy and last much longer than larger bulbs. You can also use solar lights outside, that will shine bright during a winter storm -- and still save energy over the older incadescent bulbs.
Set an automatic timer
Using an automatic timer will help you avoid leaving your lights on throughout the night and during the day -- and running up your electricity bill unnecessarily. You can save a bundle by turning on the lights only when people can see them – about 8 hours in the evening.
You can find rebates on many ENERGY STAR qualified light strands from your local hardware or department stores. Plus, these strands come with warranties you should take advantage of to save money.
Use less lights
Cut back on the number of lights and increase the number of metallic and reflective ornaments to get the same effect.
Keep it cozy
With all the holiday lighting inside your home creating a warm, cozy feeling, turn off all other non-essential lighting to cut back on energy costs.