Save energy without skimping on holiday traditions with the help of NYSERDA
November 08, 2011
Whether you’re decorating your home with festive lights, running errands or hosting holiday gatherings, extra energy usage can take a toll on both the environment and your wallet.
But be of good cheer! Celebrate the smart way—and give yourself the gift of lower energy bills—with these tips from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA):
Give Savings: Give your family the gift of energy savings in a box. Electronics are always popular, so look for ENERGY STARÒ qualified electronics, including computers, printers, televisions, battery chargers, Blu-RayTM players, DVD players and cordless phones that use less energy than products without the ENERGY STAR label. Include rechargeable batteries for additional savings. Although these batteries have a higher initial cost, they can be recharged and used many times, so have low environmental impact. And don’t forget advanced power strips, which eliminate standby or “phantom” power from electronics that are turned off, but still continue to draw power.
Light with ENERGY STAR: Decorating your home for the holidays can be costly, but many energy-efficient options are available today that save money. When purchasing lights, look for the ENERGY STAR label, and always remember to use an automatic timer to turn your decorative lights on and off. Consider ENERGY STAR qualified decorative light strings featuring light emitting diodes or LED technology when lighting your home for the holidays. These decorative light strings consume 70 percent less energy than conventional incandescent light strands, can last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent strands, are cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire in your home, and if a single bulb burns out, the rest of the LED string will stay lit.
Combine Trips: Plan your shopping trips carefully. Several short trips can use twice as much fuel as a longer one that covers the same distance. Stop by the store on your way home from work to conserve. And, with increased traffic around the holidays, be sure to drive sensibly. Aggressive driving wastes gas and can lower your mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent around town.
Don’t Peek: There are many ways to save energy in the kitchen. Heat multiple items in the oven together when preparing holiday meals and treats. Turn the oven off 10 to15 minutes early to let residual heat finish the job. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door, because every time you do the temperature goes down 25 degrees, forcing your oven to work harder.
Let Your Guests Do the Work: When entertaining, turn down the thermostat. Your home will remain comfortable with the added guests and hot food.
For a real energy-saving present this season, give yourself the gift of a comprehensive home energy assessment, which can help you decrease energy use in your home, cut energy costs and increase comfort in 2012 and beyond. To find out how you can qualify for a free or reduced-cost whole-house energy assessment in New York, go to http://nyserda.ny.gov/residential.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.
Last Updated: 01/17/2014