By: Andre Sowerby-Thomas
Holiday lights and décor bring feelings of joy, positivity and happiness – and that's why many Floridians brighten up their homes with festive decorations each year.
The holidays are a great time to add some extra flair to your home, but it's important to consider energy usage while decorating. For example, an animated snow globe running for a month can add nearly $15 to your energy bill, while many decorations use no energy at all.
Leading up to the most wonderful time of the year, FPL is offering 10 easy, safe and affordable ways to save money on your home's energy bill – just one tip a day! Try implementing the energy saving tips below and read on about how you can use FPL's free Energy Analyzer tool to pinpoint where you can cut back.
Day One – LED is key: LED lights may be more costly upfront, but will save you money throughout the holiday season. LED lights use 80 to 90% less energy and can last 10 times as long as standard incandescent bulbs.
Day Two – Check the rating in case your lights need updating: Ensure that outdoor lighting and extension cords are UL-rated (meet nationally recognized safety and sustainability standards) for exterior use. Never use indoor lights outside – although using outdoor lights inside the home is fine.
Day Three – Set it and forget it: Use automatic timers to control how long you are running your lights or holiday inflatables each day. The fewer the hours, the less energy you'll use.
Day Four – Be bright when using lights: Save up to 30% by using smart power strips to plug in your holiday lights and décor.
Day Five – Forget the inflatable décor and get crafty: Although large inflatable decorations are fun, they can be some of the most expensive holiday decorations in terms of energy usage. Instead, opt for an activity for the kids and make your own wreaths, ribbons or ornaments – all festive decorations that require no energy.
Day Six – Give the gift of savings: If you're doing a virtual gift exchange this year, ship loved ones and friends energy efficient gifts like a smart thermostat, a solar portable charger or a LED desk light.
Day Seven – Keep your home cool when the cooking gets hot: Using smaller appliances like the microwave or toaster oven instead of the stovetop saves money on energy usage – they don't heat up your house as much as larger appliances. When using your oven to check on your holiday dishes, use the oven light instead of opening the door to peek.
Day Eight – Unplug to save energy and be present: Your TVs, game systems, routers and cable boxes are probably getting a lot of use right now. Unplugging electronics after each use allows you to be present in the moment and save a couple of bucks on your bill.
Day Nine – Make your A/C work smarter not harder: Did you know that each degree you increase your A/C can save up to 5% on cooling costs? Also, don't forget to keep doors open – keeping doors closed can block airflow and make your A/C work even harder.
Day 10 – Become an Energy Star saver: If you're investing in larger appliances or electronics this holiday season, select models that are ENERGY STAR-rated as they'll use 40% less energy than comparable models.
Always remember you can monitor and manage your energy use with the FPL Energy Analyzer to become an energy saving pro all year long. This free tool provides an itemized breakdown of energy usage and offers more simple energy-saving tips to different kinds of energy users. Activate your free FPL Energy Analyzer today, and check back at any time to see how these changes can help lower your bill.
Andre Sowerby-Thomas is FPL's Home, Business and Energy Solutions and Ask the Expert residential expert. He is based in FPL's central Broward County office and has been with the company for 15 years. Andre helps customers improve their energy efficiency, consumption and lower their home/business energy costs. Andre also leads the safety culture of his business unit. In his free time, Andre enjoys listening to music, spending time with his family, renovating his home, jet skiing and playing video games.
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