Additional holiday energy-saving tips:
•Yard Inflatables – Yard inflatables range from simple to extravagant. Operating some of these inflatables can be expensive. Larger displays consume anywhere from about 150 watts per hour to as much as 200 watts. At 10 hours per day, the total cost of electricity could be $10 per inflatable, per month.
•Turn Off the Lights – Limit the time that lights are on. Wait until dark to turn on your holiday lights; then, turn them off before you go to bed. Six hours or less of daily use is a good goal. Turning off room lights when the tree is lit can also make a difference. The lights on a holiday tree should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room.
•Smart Gifts – Giving a television, computer or other big electronic gifts or appliances this year? Do the right thing by purchasing a product with the ENERGY STAR label. For more information, visit www.energystar.gov.
•Holiday Cooking – Use the smallest appliance, pan and burner while cooking to save energy. For example, microwave ovens require less than half the energy of a conventional oven. Slow cookers are great ways to cook for a family and save money. On average, a whole meal can be cooked in a slow cooker for 17 cents worth of electricity.
•Smart Baking – Improve oven efficiency by keeping the doors closed as much as possible and baking several dishes at the same time and temperature.
•Keeping Food Cool – Newer refrigerators are more energy efficient than older ones. Refrigerators and freezers operate more efficiently when the doors are kept closed as much as possible. If necessary, leaving the doors open for a longer period of time is more efficient than opening and closing them several times.
•Storing the Feast – Keep extra beverages and holiday leftovers cold by storing them in a garage or on a porch, if temperatures permit. Unplugging a second refrigerator or freezer can save $23 per month in electricity costs.
National Grid encourages customers also to conduct a home energy assessment to secure the biggest energy savings and provide your family more comfort through the coming winter season. For more information on other energy savings available to customers visit www.nationalgridus.com, select your region or state from the menu at the top of the page and click on “Energy efficiency services.”
Advanced power strips can save up to $100 per year in energy costs by eliminating “standby energy loss.” When peripheral appliances such as audio equipment or computer monitors are not being used, they often still consume energy. Advanced power strips shut off electricity to such devices automatically, while maintaining power to products that need it, such as cable boxes or modems. Also, consider using fewer lights and more decorations that do not use energy— such as wreaths or poinsettias.
The company reminds customers also to change furnace filters, swap out light bulbs for LEDs, and consider installing a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat, to make significant changes in your energy consumption over the winter heating season too. National Grid provides a long list of easy-to-implement efficiency tips on its energy efficiency web page. The company web site also offers winter safety tips, including carbon monoxide precautions. In addition, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provides tips and programs on its site.