Consumers no longer have to pull the plug on holiday celebrations to conserve energy and money during the holiday season. TXU Energy's one-of-a-kind winter energy conservation program - Holiday Cents - educates consumers on ways to cook efficiently, decorate sensibly and keep the cold air out during the winter holiday season.
"As a leader in energy conservation, it is vital to educate our consumers on ways to conserve energy, especially during the holiday season when energy consumption increases," said Kelli Rod, Director of TXU Energy Community Relations. "Through our Holiday Cents program, we are educating thousands of people on simple and low-cost ways to conserve energy, and therefore reduce the costs of monthly electric bills."
TXU Energy community relations managers will travel the state providing educational energy conservation information and handing out TXU Energy LED night lights to thousands of consumers through numerous community events with local partnering organizations. The Holiday Cents tour will cover various cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, Odessa, Houston, Corpus Christi, Tyler, McAllen and others.
During the holiday season, friends and families cook larger meals more often than any other time of the year. TXU Energy's Holiday Cents program will educate consumers on ways to save electricity in the kitchen. Below are a few cooking tips to conserve energy and reduce the costs of time well spent cooking holiday meals.
- Cook outdoors - Most Texans live where the climate is mild enough to use outdoor grills to cook even during the winter holiday months.
- Choose glass or ceramic pans for the oven - Glass or ceramic pans heat faster than metal pans and allow you to set the temperature 25 degrees lower. Plus, meals will cook just as quickly.
- Use microwaves as much as possible - Microwave ovens use much less electricity than a stove or oven and take less time to cook meals.
- Use slow cookers - Slow cookers can cook a whole meal for about 17cents worth of electricity.
- Clean burners and reflectors - Clean burners and reflectors will provide better heating, while saving energy.
In addition to providing sensible and low-cost ways to conserve energy while cooking, TXU Energy recommends the following tips to reduce the costs of holiday decorating.
- Decorate with LEDs - Get rid of the old traditional decorating bulbs, and start using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). LEDs are durable, last up to 100,000 hours, and conserve more energy than their incandescent. One traditional bulb in a strand of holiday lights (incandescent C9) uses six watts. An entire strand of 50 LED lights uses four watts (.004 kilowatts).
- Unplug lights - Always unplug all holiday lights at the wall outlet before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Pre-lit decorations - To avoid the mess and hassles associated with real garland in the home, consider using pre-lit LED wreaths and artificial garland on the mantel and along stair railings. This not only saves assembly time, it also provides considerable cost-savings year after year.
- Specialty lighted decorations - Update and brighten ordinary holiday displays throughout the home with creative designs, such as the LED Holiday Tree, Teddy Bear or Angel.
- Timers - Use timers to limit light and inflatable displays.
In addition to the holiday decorating tips, TXU Energy also offers an online Holiday Lights Calculator which provides consumers with the estimated costs of running their holiday lights. The Holiday Lights Calculator can be found at http://www.txu.com/holidaycalculator.
Along with decadent foods and holiday decorating, come extreme changes in temperature, resulting in higher electricity bills. Following are some tips that will help even the most energy-conscious enjoy the winter season.
- Check temperature settings - Weather is a controlling factor in approximately 55% of the total home energy consumption through heating and air-conditioning. Set thermostats at 68 degrees during the winter and even lower when away from the house for more than a few hours. While sleeping, add an extra blanket for warmth. Use a programmable thermostat to turn down thermostats automatically.
- Install weather-stripping/caulking and insulation - Sealing air leaks with caulking and weather stripping and installing adequate insulation in walls and the attic are some of the most cost effective savings measures you can do in your home.
- Inspect furnace filter - Clean or replace your furnace filter monthly to help it run more efficiently.
- Check water heater - Set water heater temperatures at 120 degrees. By lowering the thermostat on the water heater to 120 degrees, families can cut water heating bills without sacrificing comfort. If your water heater is hot to the touch, install a thermal blanket to help retain the heat.
- Use ceiling fans - Use ceiling fans on a slow speed with the fan direction UP during the winter. This will push warm air away from the ceiling and move it around the room without creating a cool breeze.
For more tips on ways to save during the holiday season and to use the TXU Energy Holiday Lights Calculator, visit http://www.txu.com/holidaytips.
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is a market-leading competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to more than 2.1 million electricity customers in Texas. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including 24/7 customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Energy Future Holdings Corp., formerly named TXU Corp., is a Dallas-based energy holding company with a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy subsidiaries, primarily in Texas, including TXU Energy, Luminant and Oncor. Visit http://www.txuenergy.com
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