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Save energy and money
during the holidays
Christmas Tree

The holiday season is generally a big time for energy use, but that doesn't mean it has to be that way. Here are ways to save energy (and money) during the holidays from About.Com.

Switch to LED Christmas Lights
LED Christmas lights use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights, and can be purchased for around $10 a strand. Want to learn more?

Use Fiber Optic Decorations
Fiber optic trees and decorations are the ultimate in energy efficiency. In most cases, they use a single light bulb located in the base of the unit to light the entire decoration – now that's energy smart and budget smart!

Limit the Time Lights are On
Wait until dark to turn on your Christmas lights; then, turn them off before you go to bed. Six hours or less of daily use is a good goal to aim for. Do you have trouble remembering to turn your lights on and off? Then, set a timer, and forget about it.

Turn Off Room Lights When the Tree is Lit
The lights on your Christmas tree should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room.

Turn the Thermostat Down When You Have Guests
Extra bodies in the house means extra warmth at no cost to you.

Buy Gifts that Don't Use Electricity or Batteries
According to energyquest.ca.gov, 40% off all batteries are purchased during the holiday season. That's a lot of money spent on batteries, and a lot of energy used! Make a pledge to buy energy-free gifts, and skip the expense entirely.

Invest in Rechargeable Batteries and a Charger
If you buy or receive gifts that require batteries, consider purchasing rechargeable batteries and a charger. Recent advancements have made rechargeable batteries better than ever.

Buy Energy Star Electronics

Energy Star certified electronics – TVs, DVD players, VCRs and cordless phones – use up to 60 – less electricity that their non-certified counterparts. Visit energystar.gov for a list of qualifying models, and shop smart.

Take a Walk to See the Christmas Lights
Leave the car in the driveway this year when you go out to look at Christmas lights. A walking tour of your neighborhood will be just as fun, and won't use any gas.

Bake Several Dishes at a Time
The holiday season is a big time for baking. Make the most of your oven and the energy that goes into heating it, by cooking several dishes at once. Remember: it takes the same amount of energy to heat a full oven as it does a nearly-empty one.

Use the Smallest Appliance to Get the Job Done
Use your microwave and toaster oven for small holiday cooking tasks, and save the oven for big cooking tasks.

Keep Lids on Pots
Foods cook faster (meaning less energy use) when the lid is on.

Unplug Phantom Energy Users Before You Go On Vacation
TVs, DVD players, computers, printers, radios and many other electronics use energy even when they aren’t turned on. Unplug these items before you go on vacation, and enjoy the energy savings.