by Sarah Arsenault, Naveco Power Inc.

Renewable energy is good for our wallets and the environment. With the Christmas holidays here, our wallets may be stretched farther than we’d like. How can we get energy savings over the holidays and still enjoy our time with family and friends? There’s no need for a dull, dark holiday. We’ve put together some smart energy savings tips for the holidays:

Tip #1: Use LED Christmas lights

According to the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), light-emitting diode (LED) lights can use up to 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. They use 40 percent less energy than fluorescent lights. LEDs can last for up to five years of continuous use, so they also eliminate those pesky burned-out bulbs and darkened strings. According to CER, in New Brunswick, $10 could power 100 LED strings as compared to 11 incandescent strings.

Tip #2: Layer Your Clothes and Turn the Thermostat Down

You don’t have to be absolutely freezing to save money and energy by turning your thermostat down during winter. If you set your thermostat down three degrees, you will save about 9 percent of your energy cost and use. Layer your clothing for coziness and comfort.

Tip #3: Open Curtains and Blinds

For south and west-facing windows, open the blinds and curtains during the day. You’ll receive free energy from the sun. When the sun goes down, close the blinds and curtains to help keep the solar heat inside as long as possible.

Tip #4: Switch to Energy-Free Decor

Consider static and natural holiday decor that doesn’t need to be plugged in or powered with batteries. You have some new options for solar-powered decorations. You can also use garlands, ribbons, and other non-electrical holiday decorations that don’t use powered technology to spread the holiday spirit.

Tip #5: Use Your Christmas Tree for Lights

How lovely is it to turn off all the lights, enjoy a warm drink, and sit by the fire with your decorated tree? Try this more often. There’s no need in the evening to keep every light in the house blazing when you can easily navigate by Christmas tree light.

Tip #6: Double the Effect of Your Lighting

If you love your Christmas lights, you can do more with less by using mirrors and reflective materials. Mirror ornaments and mylar can also provide a similar doubling effect. Look for LED lights that combine with mirrored backing, as well. These are energy-efficient while offering an impressive and brilliant effect.

Tip #7: Put Your Lights on a Timer

Lighting timers are inexpensive and easy to use. They’ll easily save energy because few people are out at 2:00 a.m. to see your holiday light display. Use a timer to set your lights to display after dark to 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. each night to limit the use of electricity.

Christmas is a time for friends and family and spreading holiday cheer. You can save energy, improve the environment, and also save money for holiday gifts and charity by making a few smart energy-saving improvements over the holidays. We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and find some you’re glad to include in your holiday plans. At Naveco Power, we’re committed to bringing more renewable energy to New Brunswick, and specifically, solar energy in the New Year. Learn more about how you can get savings for your business in 2021 by visiting naveco.ca/solarbenefits

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