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Christmas Energy Saving Ideas

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Christmas Energy Saving Ideas
by Tiffany Hawkins - Friday, 11 December 2015, 12:11 PM

This winter break our school will be participating in a district-wide holiday shut down program to help reduce energy waste. We wanted to invite all our families / staff at home to practice energy efficiency over the holidays too. So here are our top tips for reducing energy waste and staying on the nice list this holiday season:

  1. Turkey Dinner – did you know opening the oven door reduces temperatures by as much as 25 degrees and increases cooking time? Use the oven light to take a peek at that pie when you can, and consider cooking more than one item in the oven at a time (leaving space around the dishes for the heat to distribute evenly). If you’ve got lots of dishes on the go, microwave ovens use as little as 50% of the energy of a conventional oven.

  2. Merry and Bright – if you haven’t already made the switch, LED lights use 80-90% less energy than incandescents and don’t heat up – protecting little hands from burns, keeping the house cooler, and reducing fire hazards. They come in a wide variety of colours and you can check for incentives.

  3. Time your Lights – you want to keep the festive cheer going, but maybe not all night! Consider using timers on your lights (indoor and outdoor) for the nights you forget to unplug. Timers also work great if you’re going away for the holiday and want to make it look like someone is home.

  4. Warm Wishes – the holiday season can also mean a workout for your heating system. Clean or change your air filter to save energy and improve air quality. Reducing the heat before your guests arrive also means your space will be more comfortable when all the family is there. If you’re feeling ambitious, try turning down the heat by a degree or two every day to make better use of those fantastic holiday sweaters and long johns.

  5. Unplug and Unwind – did you know that an estimated 5% of the energy used at home is “phantom power” – energy consumed when an appliance isn’t in use to power adapters, clocks, lights and other small loads. Use smart strips or power bars to save this wasted energy and if you’re headed away for the holidays, consider unplugging items altogether. If you’re purchasing electronics or appliances for the holidays look for the EnergyStar label to find energy efficient options.