As the holidays and winter approach, many Texans want to know the best way to save money without compromising holiday festivities. TXU Energy's Holiday Cents offers the best tips to decorate sensibly, cook efficiently, and keep the cold air out during the winter holiday season.
"At a time when expenses tend to increase, it's important to find ways to use less electricity, lower the electric bill, and still make it a special time for family and friends," said Kelli Rod, vice president, community relations.
Deck the Halls, Safely and Efficiently
Decorative lights make the holiday glow. Here are a few reminders to light up safely and efficiently:
- 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 traditional incandescent light bulbs. In fact, one strand of 50 LED lights uses about one-third less energy than a single traditional incandescent bulb.
- Unplug lights - Always unplug all holiday lights at the wall outlet before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Choose pre-lit decorations - Real garland smells and looks great. But, it can be a hassle and messy. 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.
- Use specialty lit decorations - Update and brighten ordinary holiday displays throughout the home with creative designs, such as the LED Holiday Tree, Teddy Bear or Angel.
- Use timers - Use timers to limit the time of use for lights and inflatable displays.
You can use TXU Energy's online Holiday Lights Calculator to estimate the cost of using your holiday lights. Also, several energy-saving products can be found at the TXU Energy Online Store.
Same Tasty Feast, Less Electricity Use
During the holiday season, families cook larger meals more often than at any other time of the year. Keep these tips in mind when you cook this year:
- 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 microwave ovens as much as possible - Microwave ovens use much less electricity than a stove or conventional oven and take less time to cook meals.
Stay Warm, Save More
Texas is known for its blistering heat. But, winters can be cold, too. Consider these ways to stay cozy and warm.
- 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, such as the TXU Energy iThermostatTM to turn down thermostats automatically.
- Install weather-strips, caulk and insulate - Air leaks can be costly. Weather stripping, caulking and insulating are the most cost-effective steps you can take.
- Check water heater - Set water heater temperatures at 120 degrees. It may help you 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.
For more tips on ways to save during the holiday season, visit txu.com/holidaytips.
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to more than 2 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 exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit www.txuenergy.com for more information about TXU Energy. REP #10004.