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Watt's Happening

Gift yourself savings by using these simple tips while decorating, cooking and giving this holiday season.

Ah, the warmth of the holidays. Family gatherings, jingle bells, hot chocolate, colder (well, cooler, at least) weather, and Mariah Carey’s top moneymaker hitting the radio. With the holiday season comes a spike in monthly energy use, likely due to having more visitors at home, more meals being cooked, and – if you’re not yet using energy efficient LED holiday lights – plenty of electricity spent on lighting up your home so Santa’s sleigh can’t miss it.

This doesn’t mean you should skip the Christmas tree this year and forget about baking cookies for Santa. Nobody likes a holiday Grinch!

Stringing lights, giving gifts and cooking for family and friends are important holiday traditions for many of us across Florida. Whether it’s more energy-efficient decorative lights, simple kitchen swaps, or maximizing your efficiency, even with extra family members at home, there are plenty of ways to cut costs so you can save up for those holiday gifts and end up on the nice list this year.

This year, the Watt’s Team is partnering with the man in red himself, and we want to know: Will your energy bill get you on the naughty or nice list this year?

Check out these easy ways you can save energy and money on your monthly bill, so your holidays are spent full of joy, wonderful memories, and lots of energy savings!

Decorate smarter, not harder

There are plenty of ways to decorate without breaking the bank. The holidays are a great time to add some extra flair to your home, but consider how to make it festive without raising your energy costs. One way is to switch to LED string lights that use 80% to 90% less energy and can last 10 times as long as standard incandescent bulbs.

Also, beware of inflatable décor. It’s a fun addition, but it can turn out to be more expensive than you think. For example, an animated snow globe running throughout December can add nearly $15 to your energy bill.

Remember, some decorations use no energy at all. Consider outdoor ornaments, wreaths and ribbons to brighten up your space without using any additional energy. 

Give the gift of energy efficiency

Holiday shopping lists, red noses, and the warmth of the holiday spirit are what this time of year is all about. One of the best parts of the holiday season is finding that perfect gift for everyone on your list.

What if your gifts also allowed your friends and family to save on their energy bills? Help your friends and family save, too, with energy-efficient gifts, such as a smart thermostat that can help save about $50 a year on your energy bill.

Looking for that blockbuster present for a special someone? If it’s an appliance or electronic, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR® logo. These items use 40% less energy than comparable models without the rating.

Big holiday meals, minimal energy

The holiday season is a great time for sharing meaningful meals with close family, and that means cooking a bit more than usual. Consider firing up the grill for those lamb chops or that tasty roast beef. Cooking outside will keep your home cool, allowing your A/C to take a much-needed rest.

When cooking indoors, always use the smallest appliance needed for the task. If you really need to get the oven going (that baked ham isn’t going to cook itself!), make sure to check on your food by using the oven light rather than opening the door and letting all that heat escape and warm up your home. Now, put on your best holiday onesie and bon appetit!

The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. With these tips, you can do all that and more — without having to worry about your energy bill. As Mariah's distant cousin Ivana Savemore Money says every year, “All I want for Christmas is… some energy savings!”