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Magic Valley EC News

Don’t Dread the Post-Christmas Electric Bill

Energy-saving ideas can help reduce electricity use

Opening Christmas Presents is fun, but opening the electricity bill after the holidays might not be. All the festivities—the gatherings, feasts and lights—can result in higher-than-normal post-holiday bills. But you can celebrate and ward off that big bill by being energy efficient.

Try these tips to help save.

1. Limit the duration of your lighting display. It’s tempting to go all out all the time with Christmas decorations, but limiting lighting time to six hours per night saves energy.

2. Switch to LED holiday lights, which use significantly less energy and last longer.

3. Use fiber-optic decorations, which usually have one central lightbulb rather than many dispersed bulbs.

4. On warm winter days, so common in the RGV, setting your thermostat at 78 will keep you comfortable.

5. During those rare cold days, set the thermostat at 68 to stay warm and limit your energy consumption.

6. Switch off overhead lights when the Christmas tree is lit. You can enjoy the warm ambiance of soft lights.

7. Give gifts that don’t require electricity. Think about how the items you gift might affect energy bills.

8. Bake several dishes in the oven at once. If the oven is on, then you might as well take advantage of the heat to multitask.

9. Use your toaster oven or microwave for smaller cooking tasks.

10. Cook with lids on pots to reduce energy use.

11. Unplug energy users such as TVs, gaming systems, printers and other electronics before you go on vacation and whenever they’re not in use.

12. Close exterior doors after guests arrive.

13. On cold days, put on a Christmas sweater. Adding another layer might help you feel warmer so you can turn down the thermostat.