Lower Your Energy Bill With Tips From Virginia Energy SenseBy: Andy Farmer, Virginia Energy Sense
Between traveling, decorating, and hosting, the holidays can be an expensive time of year for many of us, but there are plenty of ways to save money on your energy bill this holiday season. Virginia Energy Sense has some easy ways to maximize holiday fun while lowering your energy bill.
Stretch Your Budget in the Kitchen
Everyone loves home-cooked holiday meals, but your kitchen can be one of your home’s costliest energy drains. The good news is that there are many ways you can cut down on your energy use without cutting out any of your favorite dishes.
A slow cooker uses half the energy of a conventional oven and can sometimes be used in its place. If you do need the oven, resist the urge to open the oven door while dishes are cooking. Opening an oven releases heat and causes your meal to cook slower — and the longer it takes to cook, the longer the oven stays on.
And if you’re on cleanup duty, wait until your dishwasher is completely full before running it; this will decrease the number of loads you run and save you power.
Light the Way to Energy Savings
Nothing makes your home feel holiday-ready like decorations do. Be an energy-saving hero by switching to solar-powered holiday lights this year. These lights include a solar panel on a small stake that goes into the ground. Simply string the attached lights as you normally would, and by nighttime your home will be illuminated for up to 12 hours.
For indoor lighting, consider replacing your incandescent string lights with LED ones. LED lights can save up to 70% in energy costs and last longer than incandescent lights.
Finally, turn on the lights only in rooms that you are currently using. As lighting accounts for 9% of your electric bill on average, you’ll conserve power.
Find the Perfect Gift With Our Eco-Friendly Gift Guide
Don’t forget the gifts! Charging stations are a must-have for tech enthusiasts. And if you know someone who’s always either too hot or too cold, a smart thermostat could be the perfect gadget for them. Check out Virginia Energy Sense’s website for a complete energy-saving gift guide so you can find the perfect gift for everyone this season.
Andy Farmer is the manager of Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s statewide energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission.