An Easy Guide to Holiday Energy Efficiency
Tis’ the season for decorating with lights, cooking for large parties, and keeping your home warm and cozy—but that doesn’t mean you have to try to set a personal record for energy use!
We’ve put together a quick and easy guide to help you be energy efficient through the holiday season.
- Lose the incandescent lights in favor of LED strands – they use up to 70% less energy and are safer because they operate at a cooler temperature than their less efficient counterparts
- Set timers to only keep lights on when you and others see them
- Install a programmable thermostat—lowering the thermostat 10-15 degrees can save 5-15% per year on heating
- Use a portable space heater in smaller spaces such as bedrooms
- Close your fireplace damper and doors when not in use to contain the heat in your home
- Be sure to seal air leaks in windows and cover with insulation film to stay toasty all winter
- Set your water heater to the warm setting (120°F) to help control your energy usage and still having hot water
- Don’t get caught in the cold—schedule routine maintenance of your HVAC system to ensure it’s in optimal working order
- Try to cook multiple dishes in the oven at once—it requires the same amount of energy to preheat an oven regardless of the number of items you’re preparing
- Consider using your microwave, a pressure cooker, and a slow cooker as they can all be more energy-efficient ways of cooking your holiday meal
- Just turn on the oven light when checking on items in the oven—opening the door can lower the temperature by up to 25°F
- Up to 40% of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season— give gifts that don’t require electricity or batteries or consider purchasing rechargeable batteries.
- If you’re purchasing an electronics gift, look for an ENERGY STAR® certified product
The “Keep Your Energy Up” Holiday Party Plan
From setup to cleanup, a step-by-step guide from Real Simple to hosting a sophisticated yet deceptively simple party.
Step 1: Make Only Easy, Impressive Food
This stress-free plan comes complete with do-ahead recipes (a few savories and a sweet) and delicious store-bought extras. Even better: The grab-and-go, finger-food-only menu requires no utensils, meaning less cleanup.
Step 2: Step Away From the Cocktail Shaker
You might think punch is a bit “cotillion,” but a serve-yourself recipe is decidedly hip.
Need some pointers? Get Real Simple’s 5 Bar Strategies for a Fabulous Party.
Step 3: Manage the MoodLighting
Turn off your bright overheads and use amber votive holders, which give off a warm glow. Decorate with metallic accents—they’re instantly festive and bounce light around. Tape light and dimmer switches in place so guests won’t lean on them and ruin the vibe.
To infuse the party with holiday cheer without subjecting folks to back-to-back tracks of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and “Feliz Navidad,” mix “traditional holiday songs with favorite party tunes in a ratio of 3 to 10,” says Kobrin. Try one of these festive playlists:
Read all 9 steps for a stress-free holiday party at RealSimple.com.
Coming Soon: Nominate Someone Special for a Chance to Win Big!
IGS Energy is thankful for YOU and we want to hear who you’re grateful for this holiday season. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, we’ll be sending out an email on how you can nominate someone and express your gratitude for them. It could be your kids’ babysitter, your co-worker, your brother-in-law—anyone you want to showcase.
Once you nominate them, you will be entered into a drawing to win great prizes that you can share with your nominee, like a spa day, a tech package, or even a weekend trip!
Make sure to check your inbox and ‘Like’ our Facebook page so you don’t miss it!