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A Little Holiday Cents Can Bring Extra Holiday Cheer

TXU Energy partners with the Red Cross to offer customers energy efficiency and safety tips for the winter season

12/8/2010

You don't have to be a scrooge to save money this holiday season. TXU Energy's Holiday Cents program, along with the Red Cross, will provide you with helpful tips to decorate sensibly, cook efficiently, and keep the cold air out while staying safe during the winter holiday season. You’ll learn how to save money, and more importantly, stay safe.

"We tend to forget about the steep costs and potential hazards associated with holiday traditions," said Kelli Rod, vice president of community relations for TXU Energy. "With just a little bit of Holiday Cents, you can still light up your holidays without dimming your holiday spirit."

Last year, between Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Eve, the American Red Cross chapter in Dallas, Texas responded to 134 residential fires, helped 491 displaced people and spent more than $104,000 in the recovery efforts.

"Usually, these are tragedies that can be avoided," said Anita Foster, chief communications officer for the Red Cross. "Working with TXU Energy, we want to make this the safest and happiest holiday season possible."

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.

Visit the BrightenSM Online Store for other energy savings tips and tools from TXU Energy.

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 Brighten® iThermostat, a Web-enabled thermostat from TXU Energy 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 txu.com for more information about TXU Energy. REP #10004.

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