This article was submitted by National Grid.
National Grid understands the importance of celebrating the holiday season with family and friends, and warm, colorful lighting. While the current economic climate may be imposing for many customers especially during the holidays, by following some simple energy efficiency and safety tips, customers can benefit from a more environmentally friendly, safe and cost-effective way to save money this holiday season.
Save Big on Lighting
Over the past few years, new lighting alternatives have become available that may cost more initially, but cost much less to maintain and operate. Energy-efficient miniature or light-emitting diode (LED) lights use considerably less energy than traditional lighting technology. The list below provides customers with the potential costs associated with each type of lighting.
- Traditional Lights -- These lights use about five watts per bulb. A typical residential customer with a rate of 15 cents per kWh will pay $33.75 a month to operate 10 strings of 25-bulb traditional bulbs for six hours per day.
- Miniature Lights -- The average miniature light uses 0.5 watts per bulb. Operating ten strings of the bulbs, at 100-bulbs per string for the same six hours, will cost the typical residential customer $13.50 per month.
- Icicle Lights -- Icicle lights use the same amount of energy per miniature bulb as miniature light strands, but a string of icicle lights with 100 bulbs will cover a much shorter distance than a straight string of miniature lights. Adding additional strands of lights will increase the typical residential customer’s electricity usage.
- LED Lights -- LED lights use only 0.05 watts per bulb, or 1/10 the amount of miniature bulbs. Due to their solid-state construction, these bulbs are safer and more durable. Ten sets of 100 of these LED bulbs will cost the typical residential customer $1.35 per month to operate.
Regardless of the lights you choose, additional energy and cost can be saved by turning lights off and unplugging before going to bed or installing an automatic timer that can reduce power usage by turning the lights on at dusk and turning them off at a desired time. Also, consider using fewer lights and more decorations that do not use energy— such as wreaths or poinsettias.
Additional Energy Saving Tips
- Yard Inflatables – Yard inflatables range from simple blow-up cartoon characters to 8-foot-tall globes with rotating figures, blowing snow and lights. Large globes consume about 150 watts per hour, while rotating carousels consume around 200 watts. At 10 hours per day, the total cost of electricity could be $10 per inflatable, per month.
- Holiday Cooking -- Using the smallest appliance for the job while cooking during the holidays will always save energy. For example, microwave ovens use less than half the energy required by a conventional oven. Use the smallest pan and burner needed for the job. Cook with lids on your pans. For example, cooking pasta without a lid on the pot can use three times as much energy.
- Smart Baking -- To improve oven efficiency, keep the doors closed as much as possible and bake several dishes at the same time and temperature. Every time the door is opened, heat escapes.
- Storing the Feast -- Keep extra beverages and holiday leftovers cold by storing them in your garage or on the porch if temperatures permit. Unplugging that second refrigerator saves $23 per month on the electricity bill. Also, defrosting frozen food in the refrigerator helps keep the refrigerator cold.
National Grid also encourages residential customers to take advantage of rebates available on high efficiency gas heating equipment including furnaces, boilers water heaters and programmable thermostats. Rebates vary depending on the type and efficiency level of the equipment. For more information, call toll free 800-292-2032, or visit us online at www.powerofaction.com
Customers may want to consider an advanced power strip as an additional means to save energy. NationalGrid offers discounted pricing on smart power strips that switch electronic devices off automatically, saving on your energy usage. Smart power strips help to solve the phantom load issues within a home in which electronic products are still drawing electricity, even while in the off position.
- · 10-outlet surge protector for $25.95
- · 7-outlet surge protector for $16.95
Prices include a $10 discount and free shipping. Prices do not include sales tax.
To order, please visit our online store or call 1-800-473-9150.
Customers may also want to consider getting rid of their old refrigerator or freezer by participating in NationalGrid’s Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling program. Chances are that old fridge could be costing up to $150 a year to run. Instead, recycle it, reduce your energy bills, and keep harmful materials out of landfills. We’ll pick it up for free and send you a $50 rebate. Customers in Rhode Island are encouraged to recycle primary units; Massachusettscustomers are encouraged to recycle secondary units.
Contact us toll free, at 877-545-4113, or on the web atwww.powerofaction.com. The Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling program is not available in New Hampshire.