How to save energy this Christmas
In the past, if you made a big effort to save energy at Christmas – or cut back on consumption in any way – you might have been called a Scrooge. It’s a time of over-consumption and merriment after all. Bah humbug!
But the mood has changed with the energy crisis and climate emergency. There's now growing awareness that everyone needs to reduce their energy consumption.
So, here are a few tricks and tips to use less energy this Christmas, without compromising on festive joy.
Turn your central heating thermostat down
With a full house at Christmas - and naff Christmas jumpers galore - no one will notice if you turn the temperature down by 1 degree. But, by making that small change - and sticking with it - you'll reduce your gas use by 10%.
Reduce your central heating thermostat down by 2 degrees and you could save £200. That’s enough to treat yourself to a smart thermostat, allowing you to better manage the temperature of your home, and control it remotely using your smartphone.
Slay Christmas phantoms, future and present
You can’t do much about the Ghost of Christmas Past, but you can certainly slay the phantoms of Christmas Present and Future! We're talking about your Phantom Load - the energy used by appliances left on or on standby - and if you don't have a grip on it, you're needlessly spending money on wasted energy.
With wasted energy making up 30% of the average energy bill, it pays to turn things off at the plug and hunt out the appliances left on that you've forgotten about. Perhaps start with your television after watching A Christmas Carol!
Using an extra drinks fridge this Christmas? If you don't switch it off after the festive season, it could cost you around £47 a year.
Choose an LED stocking filler
If you’re not yet a convert to LEDs, then December - the darkest month of the year - is the right time to get started.
An LED would fit snugly into the bottom of a stocking - and it certainly beats an orange.
LEDs use 90% less energy than traditional halogen bulbs. With lighting accounting for 15% of a typical household energy bill, and LEDs costing from as little as a couple of pounds, they can pay off fast.
Make the swap to LED Christmas tree lights too! If used for 8 hours every day from 1st December to 6th January, a string of 400 LED multicoloured lights could cost you just under £3.
Cook an energy-efficient Christmas dinner
Preparing Christmas dinner can be an epic ordeal, involving dozens of pots and pans, and several rounds of washing up. But, you can make it a tad more energy efficient by taking some simple measures.
When you're cooking on the hob, remember to use a lid and turn the heat off just before the food is fully cooked to let the remaining heat finish the job! Try to use just one pot for as many things as possible too, you'll save energy by using one less hob ring.
Even better if you avoid it entirely and make use of your microwave - it's more energy-efficient as it heats the food directly instead of the air around it.
Make the most of the Twixmas lull
If you find yourself twiddling your thumbs in the quiet days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, then why not spend a few minutes clawing back some of that money you splurged on Christmas presents?
Make a few simple improvements to your household's energy efficiency, like insulating your pipes and doing some draught-proofing, and you'll enjoy the savings all year long!
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