This holiday season, why not give friends and family gifts that will save them money all year long? The Energy Education Council has gift suggestions that decrease energy use and increase savings: Energy Star products. New electronics are popular holiday gifts. If you plan on buying a computer, television or home theater component for a friend, do them a favor and buy an Energy Star-certified product. Energy Star appliances use at least 20 percent less energy. They are tested for performance and features, too—not just efficiency.
Programmable thermostats. The holiday season is also the home heating season. A programmable thermostat can help loved ones heat their home strategically and save money.
Rechargeable batteries and chargers. Many families have to hunt down batteries for new gadgets and toys during the holidays. Help your friends and family prepare with a rechargeable battery set.
Energy-efficient lightbulbs. Properly packed, new lightbulbs make good stocking stuffers. CFLs and LEDs are designed to last longer and use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. You can buy bright, white lights for working spaces and also warmer lights for the home. Be sure to buy Energy Star-certified lightbulbs to guarantee energy efficiency and quality.
Gift certificates. A gift certificate can help get your friends and loved ones on the path to energy efficiency. One idea is a gift certificate for insulation and sealing updates: In most homes, heating and cooling is the largest part of the energy bill, and an insulation upgrade is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve home efficiency. Helping friends afford one really would be the gift that keeps on giving!
Renewable gadgets and toys. The popularity of renewable and alternative energy is growing. With new gadgets and toys, you can experience and enjoy new forms of energy in your home—including hand-crank flashlights and solar chargers. Renewables also power a variety of toys, such as solar crickets and cars that use the power of the sun to move.