Consumers are reeling from this year's high -- and sometimes record -- home heating costs. So the last thing they need is the double whammy of high energy bills when the holiday bills arrive in January. Energy-efficiency tips from the Alliance to Save Energy can help winter home energy costs, and perhaps even provide some gift ideas!
- Be on the cutting edge with light-emitting diode, or LED holiday lights. Each bulb with this new technology uses only 0.04 watts and is up to 90 percent more efficient than its incandescent counterpart. So a household burning 10 strands of lights for eight hours a day for a month at $0.0853 per kilowatt-hour would spend $127.67 for large, incandescent bulbs, $7.20 for traditional mini-lights, and just $0.72 for LEDs. These newer bulbs are sturdy, last up to 100,000 hours, or 20 years, and barely warm up, eliminating fire concerns.
- When you're looking for that last stocking stuffer for the kids, remember there's nothing wrong with gifts that are powered by the imagination, rather than by batteries or electricity.
- Strap on those cross-country skies or roller blades or ride your bike to tour the neighborhood holiday decorations. It's a great way to work off those extra holiday calories, and it's much cheaper than filling up your family SUV.
- Although frost on windows may be charming in holiday movies, it's uncomfortable in your own home. Depending on your financial capabilities, either cover single-pane windows with plastic film to avoid drafts, install storm windows, or upgrade to energy-efficient windows with double panes and low-emissivity coatings to dramatically improve indoor comfort, add beauty to your home, and save money during the holiday season and beyond.
- Unplug the video games and turn off the millionth broadcast of It's a Wonderful Life -- and read your favorite holiday story instead. Your children may appreciate your attention and time, and you will be saving energy in the process.
- Instead of leaving your door open to carolers and losing all that precious heat, pull on your parka and join in the fun. It's a great way to meet your neighbors, too.
- Give your family the extra gift of your time -- while energy-efficient products and technologies do the work for you -- reducing home energy and water bills and needless air pollution and increasing comfort day after day.
The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy, and national security.