Christmas is just over two weeks away! Couple the cold and dark of December with all that extra holiday baking, those house guests, and strings of Christmas lights, and it can be difficult to keep electricity bills in check at this time of year. Here are a few suggestions to help you stay on track:
1. If you haven't already, switch to LED Christmas lights. They use 90 percent less electricity than regular Christmas lights, and can be purchased for around $10 a strand.
2. Use fiber optic decorations. In most cases, they use a single light bulb located in the base of the unit to light the entire decoration, making them both energy smart and budget smart!
3. Limit the time lights are on. Wait until dark to turn on your Christmas lights, and turn them off before you go to bed. Six hours or less of daily use is a good goal to aim for. Use a timer if you have trouble remembering to turn your lights on and off.
4. Turn off room lights when the tree is lit. The lights on your Christmas tree should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room.
5. Decorate with candles. Christmas lights are nice, but so are candles. Set up luminaries along your walkway and light candles throughout your home to achieve a beautiful holiday glow, without adding to the electric bill. Just be sure you don't leave the candles unattended for any length of time.
6. Christmas is a time of year when many of us tend to have house guests or adult children home from university. That means more showers and more dirty dishes. Wherever possible, watch the hot water usage; it is a huge part of a household electrical bill.
7. Buy gifts that don't use electricity. Make a pledge to buy energy-free gifts, and save all year round.
8. Invest in rechargeable batteries and a charger. If you buy or receive gifts that require batteries, consider purchasing rechargeable batteries and a charger.
Do you have any tips to share? Please post them here.
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