How to Save on your Electric Bill During the Holidays

holidays - electric

Your pal Gilley is back and excited to wish you a very Happy Holidays! December is one of my favorite months! Not only do I get to wear my scarves and hats (yes, parrots wear winter clothes too!) but I get to enjoy all of the decorations and twinkling lights! These decorations can put any Scrooge in the Holiday spirit!

As much fun as December can be, there is no doubt that it can rack up your heating bill. My bill last year was astronomical! I was so mad I almost yanked out some of my feathers! But I’ve learned some great ways to keep the electric bill from rising during the holidays and I’m here to share them with you.

Candles – December 1st means lots of decorating (for those who haven’t already at least). When adding holiday décor to your home using candles is a great choice. Candles are low energy cost because they don’t need to be plugged in! There are also many different colors and scents to choose from. A candle won’t only add a holiday look to your home but it will add the appropriate smell, too. When arranging candles be sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets. Never leave your candles lit while you are not home or are asleep. A candle warmer is great substitute to lighting candles and even enhances the smell of the candle. You can also use battery operated candles to achieve the same look.

LED Christmas lights – Lights, lights and more lights! This is how most feel about holiday decorating and there is nothing wrong with that. However, to save energy costs, use LED Christmas lights instead. LED lights use 90 percent less energy and last longer than conventional Christmas lights.

Use less conventional lighting – Now that you have all of these additional lights and candles in your home, you don’t need to use your lamps or overhead lighting as much. Using the same amount of lighting you used before using your Christmas lights will most definitely rack up your electric bill.

Limit decorations– You spend so much time putting up all of your lights, it is only natural to want to leave them on as much as possible. As hard as it may be, try to refrain from doing so. Leaving your holiday lights and decorations on will greatly increase your electric bill. Limit using them to when you are home and leave them off during the day and while you are sleeping. A device that will help you limit your lights is an automatic timer. You can use this for both inside and outside. This is a great device that will automatically shut off your lights at a specific time.

Body heat – When you’re having company over, turn the heat down a little by a few degrees. Don’t worry about your guests freezing because the more people, the more body heat. All of the additional people in your home will raise the temperature on its own and save a little on your heating bill thanks to your guests.

Unplug – Not only do you want your lights and decorations off while you’re sleeping and not at home, you want to unplug them from the outlet as well. Even if a light or device is turned off, it is still using energy. With the additional lights and decorations, your electric bill can still be affected even if you are not using it all the time.

Cook efficiently – Use the microwave and toaster oven more than conventional oven. This will save you energy and money. Around the holidays, everyone cooks much more than usual, be sure to defrost meat overnight rather than using the microwave. Keeping your oven shut as much as possible while cooking will also save energy in your home.

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Tom Gillece Sr. is the founder and president of Gillece Services in Pittsburgh, providing residential Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Waterproofing services throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1980, Gillece has helped homeowners with all of their emergency, maintenance, repair and replacement needs for more than 30 years. For the latest news and offers, Gillece can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.