Whether your holiday plans include family dinners, trips to visit friends or quiet time at home, they can mean increased energy use and utility bills. Virginia Energy Sense, a newsletter from the State Corporation Commission, offers these seasonal energy-saving tips:
- The refrigerator loses its cool every time the door opens. To save energy and cut down on trips back and forth, gather all your ingredients in one trip, and make sure the door shuts securely when closed.
- If you are hosting a large gathering, set your thermostat down a few degrees. Since more bodies translate into more heat, you can keep everyone comfortable and keep your heating bill in check.
- Consider using the microwave instead of the oven when cooking side dishes. Microwaves use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens.
- Switch to new minilights or LED-powered ones for decorating. They can be up to 70 percent more energy-efficient than older bulbs, some of which use up to 10 watts each.
- Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs can be a savvy stocking stuffer. Year-round lighting accounts for up to 25 percent of a home’s electric use.