You don’t have to pull the plug on holiday celebrations to conserve energy and save money this holiday season. Through its Holiday Cents program, TXU Energy will educate consumers statewide on ways to cook efficiently, decorate sensibly and keep the cold air out during the winter holiday season.
“TXU Energy is committed to educating consumers on simple and low-cost ways to use less electricity, lower their monthly electricity bills and help the environment all at the same time,” said Kelli Rod, vice president of community relations for TXU Energy. “Through our Holiday Cents program, we will reach thousands of customers and provide a new way to save during a season when bills tend to increase.”
Same Tasty Holiday Feast, Less Electricity Use
During the holiday season, families cook larger meals more often than any other time of the year. Keep these tips in mind when you cook this year’s holiday feast:
* Cook outdoors – Most Texans live where the climate is mild enough to use outdoor grills to cook even during the winter holiday months.
* Choose glass or ceramic pans for the oven – Glass or ceramic pans heat faster than metal pans and allow you to set the temperature 25 degrees lower. Plus, meals will cook just as quickly.
* Use microwaves as much as possible – Microwave ovens use much less electricity than a stove or oven and take less time to cook meals.
* Use slow cookers – Slow cookers can cook a whole meal for about 17 cents worth of electricity.
* Clean burners and reflectors – Clean burners and reflectors will provide better heating, while saving energy.
Deck the Halls, Safely and Efficiently
Decorative lighting makes the holiday glow. Here are a few reminders to light up your holiday season safely and efficiently:
* Decorate with LEDs – Get rid of the old traditional decorating bulbs, and start using light emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are durable, last up to 100,000 hours, and conserve more energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. In fact, one strand of 50 LED lights uses about one-third less energy than a single traditional incandescent bulb.
* Unplug lights – Always unplug all holiday lights at the wall outlet before going to bed or leaving the house.
* Pre-lit decorations – Real garland smells and looks good. But, it can be a hassle and messy. Consider using pre-lit LED wreaths and artificial garland on the mantel and along stair railings. This not only saves assembly time, it also provides considerable cost-savings year after year.
* Specialty lighted decorations – Update and brighten ordinary holiday displays throughout the home with creative designs, such as the LED Holiday Tree, Teddy Bear or Angel.
* Timers – Use timers to limit light and inflatable displays.
In addition to holiday decorating tips, you can use TXU Energy’s online Holiday Lights Calculator to estimate the cost of using your holiday lights. The Holiday Lights Calculator can be found at www.txu.com/holidaycalculator.
Stay Warm, Save More
Texas is known for its blistering heat. But, winter can be withering, too. Consider these tips for staying cozy and warm.
* Check temperature settings – Weather is a controlling factor in approximately 55% of the total home energy consumption through heating and air-conditioning. Set thermostats at 68 degrees during the winter and even lower when away from the house for more than a few hours. While sleeping, add an extra blanket for warmth. Use a programmable thermostat to turn down thermostats automatically.
* Install weather-strips, caulk and insulate – Air leaks can be costly. Weatherstripping, caulking and insulation are the most cost effective savings steps you can take.
* Inspect furnace filter – Clean or replace your furnace filter monthly to help it run more efficiently.
* Check water heater – Set water heater temperatures at 120 degrees. It may help you cut water heating bills without sacrificing comfort. If your water heater is hot to the touch, install a thermal blanket to help retain the heat.
* Use ceiling fans – Use ceiling fans on a slow speed with the fan direction UP during the winter. This pushes warm air away from the ceiling and circulates it around the room without creating a cool breeze.
For more tips on ways to save during the holiday season and to use the TXU Energy Holiday Lights Calculator, visit www.txu.com/holidaytips