Electricity is at a premium right now, and with the holidays coming up many of us are running extensive lighting schemes to light not only our Christmas trees but also our homes, our gardens and the greater world outside our house. But keeping your electric bills down is a big priority for many of us, especially those struggling with the expense involved with the winter holidays. So how can you ensure your lights don’t bleed your wallet dry over time?
It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is one of those situations where you may want to speculate to accumulate. Every home ends up, over time, with a collection of Christmas lights that is many years old and reminds all those who live in it of Christmases gone past. Nostalgia, however, doesn’t pay the bills. Throw out any of the lights that are older than a year or two, and go shopping for new lights. You’ll find that newer lights are often far more energy-efficient. In addition, they can be much safer than older lights and pose a smaller risk of fire due to short-circuiting as they will conform to more recent safety regulations.
Turning your lights off at night may seem silly. Obviously you want to spread the Christmas spirit. But to be honest, leaving your lights on all night is likely to irritate your neighbours as much as it spreads Christmas cheer. Turn them off and save on 8 or 9 hours’ worth of electricity. Again, in terms of fire hazard, you’re cutting that down, too; should something go wrong whilst you’re awake, you’ll be able to cope with it and curtail the effects. Asleep, you’re much more likely to wake too late – or not at all.
Consider turning your lights off – the indoor ones if not the outdoor ones – while your children are in school and you are busy at work or around the home. Let’s be realistic for a moment; the enjoyment is primarily for your children, and while it may cut into your seasonal spirit to turn off the lights during the day, it will also cut down on your bills at the end of the month. You’re less likely to be distracted by the lights if you work from home or need to do housework, and if you are in the office there’s no point in leaving the lights on all day with no one there to enjoy them.
Turn your heating down, too. To compensate for your higher electricity bills, turn your heating down a little lower than you might find comfortable, during the day. When the family is out, it’s a very minor inconvenience to have the house’s temperature get a bit lower than you usually fancy. You simply turn it back up when you get home, and it may take a little bit of time before it’s entirely comfortable, but if you keep it at a reasonable temperature during the day it will feel warm compared to the cold outside.
By keeping an eye on your energy bills during the holiday season, you can avoid any unpleasant surprised after the holiday season. Put a little bit of thought into it, and you can save pounds every day!