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Save energy (and money) during the holidays

12/14/2018 9:08:46 AM

The holiday season is a time for cooking, decorating, entertaining and other activities that can consume a lot of energy in your home.

To help you conserve energy, and save money, during this year's holiday season, the Minnesota Department of Commerce offers these tips:

Ask for and give energy-efficient gifts, such as ENERGY STAR® home entertainment equipment, appliances and computers. Check out the ENERGY STAR Holiday Gift Guide (www.energystar.gov/products/holiday). 

  • Replace incandescent decorative lights with LED bulbs. LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer. Check with your electric utility to see about rebates for buying LEDs. And recycle your old lights. For locations, see the Recyle Your Holidays website (recycleminnesota.org/recycle-your-holidays).
  • Use timer controls when decking your house in holiday lights. Timer controls allow you to automatically turn lights on and off at specific times.
  • Use a power strip for your lights and electronics, and turn it off when they are not in use. Plugged-in devices draw small amounts of electricity even when not in use, 
  • Turn down your thermostat if you’re going to be away from home for the holidays. Install a programmable thermostat to control the heating and cooling of your home year-round.
  • Entertain efficiently. When guests arrive, turn down your thermostat a few degrees, because the combination of the oven and stove, hot food and warm bodies will help keep your home comfortable.
  • Save energy in the kitchen. Simple actions in the kitchen, such as using the right-sized pots on stove burners and using the oven light to check on a dish’s progress (instead of opening the oven door) can save energy.
  • Maintain your fireplace. Close your fireplace damper when a fire is not in use and install airtight doors to prevent warm air from escaping up the chimney.

Minnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Contact the Commerce Department's Energy Information Center at energy.info@state.mn.us or 800-657-3710 with energy questions.

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