Stay in control of your energy this Christmas
By: Ryan Jay
09 Dec 2019
Christmas is fast approaching. For those of us who are hosting friends and family this year, our energy use is likely to soar. Just think of all the extra baths and showers on Christmas morning. Then there are kids and adults alike fighting over sockets to charge their new gadgets. And that whacking great turkey will take a few hours roasting to become a magnificent centrepiece.
With all these extra goings on in the household, you might be worried about what that means for your energy bill. Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with some simple energy saving tips over the Christmas period.
Managing your thermostat
Having a house full of guests is the perfect time to knock your thermostat down a notch without sacrificing comfort. More bodies in the home will warm things up, especially if there are a few excitable kids running around with their new toys. In fact, keeping a handle on your thermostat is probably the surest way to limit the energy you use, so long as you’re not noticing the difference. Try turning the room thermostat down by just one degree. By doing this, it’s estimated that the typical household could save £85 a year on energy.
Another way to save energy is to identify gadgets and appliances that use energy even when you’re not using them. TVs, games consoles, and even phone chargers will quietly gobble up power when they’re not in use.
Make sure you also consider appliances which are going to be surplus to requirements over the holidays. Things like the computer or printer that you only use for work should be switched off properly when not in use. The same applies if you’re going away over the holidays. Do a final sweep of the house and make sure that nothing’s going to be racking up your energy bill while you’re not there.
A few bright ideas
While LED lights are a bit pricier than standard fairy lights, their investment pays dividends over the long term. A 100-count string of old filament bulb lights runs at 40 watts, whereas a 70-count string of LED lights runs at just 4.8 watts. They’re also a lot tougher, with less risk of breaking when your kids or guests manhandle them. Think of all the energy you’d save year after year.
You can also limit the amount of time your festive lights are actually on. While we all love to impress our neighbours, is it necessary to leave your decorations switched on during the day or when you’re out? Turning them off when you’re not around is an easy energy save.
Cooking up an energy efficient storm
Making some changes to your cooking habits over Christmas makes a big difference to your energy spend. Saucepan lids? Keep them on. Need to check your bakes? Peek through the glass of the oven door rather than opening it. And with a festive feast needing preparation, make sure you cook multiple things at once to save oven time. All these little tweaks will save you money in the long run.
Here’s a smart idea
If hosting the whole family is a yearly tradition, then a smart move would be upgrading to a smart meter. They’re available at no extra cost, and can help you control the amount of energy you use. When your smart meter is installed, you’ll also be set up with an in-home display unit (IHD), which shows your energy usage in pounds and pence. During the bustling Christmas period, keeping an eye on your energy usage can be a real help.