Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year; it is also the time of year with some of the highest energy usage. We have devised a list of how you can save energy over the Christmas period.
What is the best way to save energy over Christmas?
Over the festive season a lot of us like to use festive lighting to decorate our homes, we also tend to leave them on throughout the day even if we are not home. Christmas lighting and normal lighting both contribute massively to your energy consumption. Make sure before you leave the house to turn off all lighting features, and when you are home, only have the essential lighting on. You can also look at low occupancy lighting; these are fixtures that take a little amount of energy to light.
You can also look at purchasing energy efficient Christmas lights; there is a range available to you, you need to look for lights which have LED bulbs. The reason you want to look for LED’s is they take less power to light, and they are also brighter. While you may find they are more expensive when you first go to purchase them, you will only reap the rewards of the lighting in the future. If you are considering lighting up your garden or exterior of your home, then the energy cost can really start to mount up, without energy efficient lighting you are looking at adding an extra £20-£30 to your energy bill. As a final option for Christmas lights, you could also look at installing solar powered garden lighting over the Christmas period, as they will often store all of the electricity during the day and then can be used once it gets dark.
There are a couple of tools you can use to also limit the amount of time your lights are on for. Say you wish to have them on for four to six hours a night, then you can purchase a lighting timer from Farnell, it allows you to track how long you wish the lights to be on for. It can also be done for when you go to bed, so you do not forget to turn off your Christmas lights. Turn off room lights if your Christmas tree lights are on. The Christmas tree will provide you with enough lighting to light the room.
Instead of purchasing new decorations which can use a large amount of petrol to get you to the shop, why not think about making decorations from natural items. Making natural decorations with your family and friends can be not only a fun experience but also a memorable one. Rather than looking for a brand new centrepiece for your dinner table, why not encourage people to make you some out of lovely pinecones and twigs. One option you may want to consider is candle wreaths; if you already have the candles, then they can easily be made to fit them.
You can also look at small household items which you do not think you will use again and make them into Christmas decorations. With a touch of glitter, you can make anything look Christmassy.
During the festive period, it can tend to get a little chilly, which may cause you to increase the temperature on your thermostat. We highly recommend you get the duvet on the sofa and put some warmer clothes on. Turning your thermostat up by one or two degrees may mean you experience a 30-40% increase in your energy bills.
If you can feel any draughts making their way through your home, there are a few things you can do to eliminate them. Make sure to draught proof all external doors and all of your windows using Aquamac Seal. It will provide you with an extra seal which prevents any of the cold air coming inside the house along with preventing the nice warm air from escaping.
If you have curtains, you may also want to consider closing them, as they can often be one of the best ways to keep the heat in when it’s cold outside. Another way of making your home warmer is by moving bulkier items away from your radiators, as they will trap the heat into specific areas. By moving them, it allows the heat to flow freely throughout the room.
Rather than going shopping on the lead up to Christmas why not look at purchasing all of your items online. You may find that you discover multiple presents on one website which means you can save a few pounds on petrol. You could also look at giving presents that are handmade or made by a friend. Sentimental gifts go a long way, so maybe this year look at giving someone something homemade.
Have guests round
You may want a quiet Christmas this year, but you may find that having people around is the perfect scenario for keeping your home warm. The more people you have in your home, the less likely you will need to put your heating on.
Use candles around your home
If you don’t want to put lighting up in your home over the Christmas period then why not think about candles, as they work not only as lighting but also another source or heat. There is a wide range of candles on the market, Yankee Candle offers some of the most amazing Christmas scents which will burn for hours on end.
When it comes to presents, you want to get your loved ones the best gifts possible. If you have young children a lot of their Christmas gifts may require batteries or a significant amount of energy. We recommend investing in rechargeable batteries; it means they use up to 60% less energy and it also means you do not produce any battery waste.
Christmas is often the perfect time to bake and cook, but people will make the mistake of putting different dishes in at different times or cooking them separately. It takes the same amount of energy to heat a full oven as it does to heat an empty one. So, it may be an idea, to put all of your dishes in at once. Not only will they cook to perfection but you will also be able to eat them much sooner!
If you are looking to make a dish in a pot, then you should be using the lid. Many people do not put the lid on their pots while cooking so they can see the food and stir it often. But by doing so, you are losing a significant amount of energy.
We also recommend using our microwave and toaster where possible, if you can make a dish in the microwave rather then using your oven, then this will also help in saving you money over the festive period, as they take less energy to heat your food.
If you are looking at cooking at home this Christmas and want to try something completely new, why not take a read of our Energy Saving Family Recipes.
When it comes to Christmas, most people tend to watch an excessive amount of television. Now while we are not completely saying go cold turkey because let’s face it, it most definitely won’t be Christmas without a Christmas film, you may want to crack out the board games. They are a great way to save energy, but they can also get everyone’s competitive side out. When everyone’s competitive streak comes out, our adrenaline tends to pump which instantly makes us warmer, so with a whole room full of people playing your home will become much warmer.
If there is any appliance you won’t be using over the Christmas period that you always have on or plugged in, then make sure to turn them off. It is even more important if you are not home. By having the TV, Xbox/Playstation, printer or radio plugged in can drain a large amount of energy. Make sure you not only enjoy your time away from home but you also enjoy your energy saving too.
As everyone will be home over Christmas, you may find that there is a significant amount of washing to do. If you choose to wash your clothes on 30 degrees, then you can experience up to 40% less energy consumption.
Many people believe they need to wash their clothing items at a high temperature. With the right washing detergent, a 30-degree wash will work just as well.
Something that may not be crossing your mind over the holidays is switching your energy suppliers. It is estimated that here in the UK, we overspend roughly around £2.7 billion on our energy bills. December is often the ideal time to consider switching energy providers. Here at Ampower, we could save you up to £250 on your yearly energy bill. Why not read our article on Choosing the right energy plans for you, it can help you get the most out of your energy plans.
Energy saving Christmas
Why not start a new Christmas tradition by trying to make the festive period as eco-friendly and energy efficient as possible. When we say energy efficient, it doesn’t mean sitting in the dark and in total silence. You can still do the things you love, but putting a twist on the way you do them can save you a significant amount of money on your home electricity plans.
The first thing you should look at is your Christmas lighting, as one of the most energy consumable items in your home over the festive period why not look at purchasing LED or solar lighting. The timer is also a good idea if you are prone to leaving the lights on throughout the day and night as it will automatically turn them off.
If you’re going away this year, make sure you turn all of your household appliances and electrical items off before you go. If you are staying home this Christmas then why not take a few tips from our energy saving recipes so you can enjoy your holiday treats without having to worry about how much energy you are using.
Switching energy providers may not be at the top of your list this Christmas, but why not ring around a few energy providers for quotes to see if you can save yourself a few pounds. Most energy providers are likely to save you money, here at Ampower we love saving all of our customer’s money on their home energy bills. Get in touch with a dedicated member of the team for information on our tariffs. Our energy analysts will work with you to discover how much energy you are using and how much money we can save you.