Energy-Saving Gifts for the Holidays
The holiday season often has us racking our brains for fun, useful gifts for friends and family members. We can help you give the gift of energy savings.
Virginia Energy Sense has compiled a guide to energy-saving gadgets that are sure to delight everyone on your list. And each of these unique gift ideas offers an opportunity to reap energy and cost savings!
For the Gadget Aficionado: Smart Thermostats
Ideal for the tech enthusiast, a Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat can trim up to $180 from your annual energy spending by automatically scaling back your heating or air conditioning when you don’t need it. (Typical cost: $100–$250.)
For the Relative With an Older Home: Smart Radiator Valve
A smart radiator thermostat enables you to adjust your radiator through an app on your phone. It can save energy by allowing you to control your home’s temperature room-to-room. (Typical cost: $90–$200.)
For the Friend That Wants to Automate Everything: Smart LED Bulbs and Light Strings
Smart LED bulbs can be adjusted from a smartphone or manually and can adapt to your routines. They last up to 25 times as long as incandescent bulbs. (Typical cost: $10–$30.) Also consider LED string lights for your holiday decorating! They use up to 90% less energy than incandescent string lights and are cooler to the touch, which reduces the risk of fire. (Typical cost: $20–$50.)
For the Neighbor Who Wants To Improve Their Outdoor Decor: Solar-Powered Lights
Place the solar panel into the ground and string your decorative lights as usual outside your home. Once the sun goes down, the lights will illuminate and can run for eight to 12 hours at a time. (Typical Cost: $40–$60.)
For the Technology-Obsessed Teen: Solar Charging Bank
It can feel like nothing is worse than your favorite device running out power. Typical portable chargers require charging as well, but using a solar polar bank instead not only saves energy but ensures you’ll never run out of battery. (Typical cost: $20–$40.)
For the Conscious Consumer: Efficient or Water-Saving Showerheads
The average household uses 40 gallons of water a day to shower. While a standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute, a water saving showerhead uses less than 2 gallons of water per minute and can save families up to 2,700 gallons of water a year as well as the energy cost to heat all that water. Look for showerheads with the WaterSense label, which designates that they meet the EPA’s water efficiency criteria. (Typical cost: $40–$100.)
For the Busy Family: Digital Shower Timer
Always running late? Save water, energy, and money by setting a countdown timer for your daily shower. Digital shower timers are waterproof and an easy way to hold yourself accountable for your water usage. Quicker showers mean less water used and more energy saved. (Typical cost: $20–$30.)
For the Family Cook: Electric Slow Cooker
Electric slow cookers are not only great for busy lives but also great for energy bills; they use half of the electricity of a conventional oven. Give the gift that keeps on giving by helping the recipient save money on their energy bill. (Typical cost: $40–$80.)
For the Outdoor Enthusiast: Solar-Powered Backpack
Perfect for travelers and outdoor enthusiasts, solar-powered backpacks can charge multiple electronic devices at a time using a detachable solar panel. (Typical cost: $80–$150.)
For the Family Member Who’s Always Cold: Electric Blanket
Electric blankets use 90% less energy than the average portable electric space heater. As a result, an electric blanket is a great gift to help your loved ones stay cozy in the winter while keeping costs low. (Typical cost: $30–$50.)
For the Energy-Conscious Family Friend: Energy Monitors
Energy monitors range in scope from monitoring a single device to keeping track of energy usage across an entire house. For a single-device energy monitor, plug it into the outlet and attach a device to learn how much energy it consumes. (Typical cost: $20–$40.) While more expensive, home energy monitors can provide suggestions on how to reduce energy consumption across the entire home. (Typical cost: $200–$300.)
For the Whole Family: Energy-Efficient Appliances
If you’re purchasing a new appliance — like a dryer, air purifier, or refrigerator — remember to check whether the appliance is energy-efficient. Look for the ENERGY STAR label to confirm that the appliance meets federal energy-efficiency standards. In some cases, your utility company might offer a rebate to eliminate some of the upfront cost. Visit our Incentives and Rebates page to learn more. (Costs vary.)
All of these gifts — available at your favorite local hardware stores, electronics stores, and online retailers — are sure to be a hit. They will help those close to you reduce their energy consumption and lower their energy bills.
If you’re looking for more ideas, check our full list of energy-efficient products.