Heavy on the Happy—and Utility Use—During the Holidays

The mesmerizing twinkling lights. The inflatable Santa smiling in the front yard. The roaring timbers in your gas-powered fireplace. Baking marathons to create pies, cookies, and scrumptious treats for extended family visits. Yes, the holiday season is here, bringing with it good food, great times, and often high utility bills. Here are a few tips for keeping your seasonal energy costs manageable, and your spirits merry.

The Brightest Time of the Year
Every holiday light—from the icicle lights hanging off of your roof to the spotlights shining on your candy cane walkway—uses energy. The type of light bulb, as well as the number used and duration they’re lit, will influence your utility spend. For example, this power consumption guide shows you the typical costs for lighted decorations. On the site, you’ll see that if you decorate with just one lit wreath, one garland, two outdoor decorations, about 10 light strings on trees, you can expect to spend $10.87 on power costs for the season when using incandescent bulbs. Switch to LED, and your spend is reduced by about 90 percent. Save on costs by using energy efficient bulbs and limit the amount of time the lights are on.

Watchful Washing
Holiday meals mean loads of dirty dishes. Did you know that you can use more than two gallons of water each minute the tap is running, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Don’t go with the flow—instead, conserve water by manually scraping dishes clean instead of rinsing them before they go in the dishwasher, as recommended by the EPA on its website. And, if the dishwasher is full, the EPA says to soak dishes in the sink with soapy water to save. (Submerge a batch of dishes as one load runs so the next is ready to go.)

Holiday Heating
This is the time of year when heating costs are at their peak, accounting for about one-third of your utility use. By installing and using a programmable thermostat, you can save up to $100 per year, the EPA reports. If it’s not too cold, building a nice fire is always a good idea. As for relatives fighting over the temperature, you’re on your own. 

family fireplace

Power Plan
How do you know whether or not your utility provider is offering you the best rates possible? Sometimes electricity companies that advertise low rates aren’t telling you the whole story. You may not know which questions to ask or understand the plan details. For example, did you know that the amount of kilowatts you use each month will affect your rate? If you don’t know the amount of power your household consumes, then you may sign up for a plan that doesn’t benefit you at all. This is where Utility Concierge comes in. From utilities and phone service to home security and insurance, we have relationships with all of the best providers, and we read the fine print and know exactly what to question with every service company—all at zero cost to you. In fact, the only money involved is the amount you’ll save by working with us. Contact us today, and let your personal concierge find your cost-effective power plan.

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This post was written by Utility Concierge