Energy Saving Tips for the Holidays

Energy demand typically increases during the holiday season, with ovens, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers working overtime. The holidays also mean many more cars on the road and decorations lighting up the streets and sapping up energy. Here are some simple ways to save energy around the holidays:

Travel
•Keep your tires inflated so your fuel economy does not decrease.
•Don’t speed. The faster you drive, the more gas your car uses (driving at 55 mph rather than 65 reduces fuel economy by about 2 mpg).

Oven Usage
•Be aware of when you actually need to preheat your oven. Slow cooks like turkeys and ham often do not require preheating.
•Don’t open the oven, use the oven light! Opening the oven while cooking can lower the oven temperature by as much as 25°.

Holiday Lights
•Turn off your holiday lights before you go to bed, or use timers. The lights do not always need to be on, and can waste lots of energy.
•Use energy efficient LED lights:
LEDs, Light Emitting Diodes, are semiconductor light sources that are being increasingly used for lighting. They offer many advantages to incandescent lighting, such as lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, small size, and great durability and reliability. While LEDs were initially used only as small light sources and indicator lamps in devices such as remote controls, they are now being used in larger appliances such as televisions DVD players.
LEDs have a higher efficiency, measured by their light output per unit input, so produce more light than incandescent and fluorescent lights for the same amount of energy used.
•Unplug home electronics, or switch off the power strip when not in use. 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.

Keep these tips in mind this holiday season! Increased energy usage by one household compounds with increased energy usage across the country. It feeds into a larger system, but everyone can make a difference in the larger result if each household cuts back.

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