Decorative lighting and stuffed ovens can certainly brighten your home during the holidays, but these traditions can lead to an increase in energy usage. While Florida Power & Light Company's (FPL) typical residential bills are already among the lowest in the state and 30 percent below the national average, FPL is always looking for ways to help customers save even more money.
"As we approach the holiday season, it's a good idea to understand how much your decorations and festive gatherings may impact your energy usage and bill," said Tiffany Spence, FPL energy expert. "Knowing the ways customers can be energy efficient can help keep their energy bills low while still enjoying the holiday season."
Here are some easy ways to save this holiday season:
Decorating the home
1. Use LED lights – LED holiday light strands consume 70 percent less energy than incandescent ones. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it only costs $0.27 to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days with LEDs compared to $10 for incandescent lights.
2. Limit the use of inflatables – Inflatable decorations in the yard can cost anywhere from $2 - $9 each per month. Consider supplementing your holiday displays with ornaments such as wreaths, ribbons and other decorations that don't consume energy.
3. Use automatic timers – Don't leave your lights on and decorations inflated all night; set them to timers so they turn off when you're asleep.
4. Use extension cords – Instead of using light strings to add length to your holiday displays, utilize extension cords when decorating.
5. Choose glass or ceramic pans for the oven – These pans heat faster than metal ones and allow you to set the temperature 25 degrees lower than a recipe suggests for the same cooking time.
6. Stop peeking – Ovens lose a lot of heat when opened and require significant energy to heat back up to the appropriate temperature. Instead, when you have to sneak-a-peek, turn the oven light on and look through the interior window.
7. Use your slow cooker – Smaller appliances such as slow cookers, microwaves and toaster ovens can be much more energy-efficient for side dishes or small meals.
8. Select energy-efficient electronics – When it comes to buying gifts for your loved ones, opt for a laptop over a desktop computer. Laptops require 50 to 80 percent less energy than a desktop.
9. Let the star be your guide – Look for the ENERGY STAR® logo when purchasing larger electronics or appliances as gifts. These models can reduce energy usage up to 40 percent.
For more ways to save energy year-round, take a free Online Home Energy Survey at FPL.com/OHES.