’Tis the Season To Save Big on Energy Costs

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During the holidays, we budget for gifts, special meals, and travel. But it’s easy to forget that with the cold weather comes a rise in heating costs. There are simple ways to save money on your energy bill, especially if you’re planning to be away from home during the holidays. Whether you’re visiting family for a long weekend or traveling to escape the cold weather, save money while you’re enjoying your trip.


From Virginia Energy Sense, here’s a list of energy-efficient tasks to perform before you head out for the holidays: 

  1. Turn the lights off. An average household dedicates around 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Switch off lights in all rooms of your home before you leave.
  2. Unplug appliances. Did you know that you can save $10–$20 a year by simply unplugging kitchen appliances when they are not in use? Phantom power is the electricity consumed by a plugged-in device that is turned off or on standby. Don’t let phantom power increase your bill; unplug those lamps, charging cables, televisions, toasters, and coffee makers!
  3. Lower the temperature of your water heater. Heating water accounts for around 18% of a home’s energy If you’re on a trip, lowering the temperature of your water heater while you’re away reduces your energy consumption and lowers your energy bill. Some water heaters have a setting on the temperature dial called “vacation mode” that conserves energy. If your water heater does not have this setting, manually turn down the temperature.
  4. Lower your thermostat. Did you know that you can save up to 10% a year on heating by turning your thermostat down 7°–10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting? While you’re away, save even more by lowering your thermostat by a few additional degrees. During the winter, the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save.

Smart thermostat being adjusted by a smart phone

Wishing to stay warm and cozy while also saving money on your energy bill? Put these home appliances on your holiday list to help conserve energy:  

  • Programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature. This saves energy while you’re away from home or asleep. Smart thermostats can save you up to $150 annually on your home energy bill. 
  • Smart radiator thermostat. With this appliance, you can adjust your radiator through an app on your phone. It can save energy by allowing you to control the temperature of each room in your home.
  • Electric blankets. Electric blankets use 90% less energy than the average portable electric space heater.

For additional energy conservation tips for the holidays, visit our Fall and Winter Energy Tips page. Discover how to save energy as you prepare your holiday feast and how to stay warm while keeping your energy costs down.