Holiday Tips

Please consider these tips for a safe and wattsmart holiday season:


LED holiday lights
  • Use LED holiday lights. They use significantly less electricity than conventional incandescent mini lights and last up to 10 times longer. ENERGY STAR® qualified lights carry a three-year warranty and are independently tested to meet electrical requirements.

  • Turn off holiday lights at bedtime and when you leave home. Timers may be useful to control your lights automatically.

  • Take care when climbing ladders to hang outdoor lights. Watch out for overhead power lines – stay more than 10 feet away from lines.

  • Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lights.

  • Only use safety-tested lights and extension cords that carry the "UL" label.

  • Do not use indoor lights outdoors and vice versa.

  • Inspect cords and plugs each year for damage. If cords are hot to the touch, it's likely a sign of a problem.

Holiday decorationsCooking and kitchen tips

  • Turn pan handles inward on the cooktop so they can't be bumped or reached by young children.

  • Keep towels and hot pads off the stove top.
  • Cook by time and temperature. Precise timing eliminates repeated opening of the oven door to check for cooking progress. Each time the door is opened, the temperature can drop 25° to 50°F.

  • Recipes list preheating as the first step, but wait until 10 minutes before baking to turn your oven on to avoid wasting energy.

  • Cook your holiday meal in ceramic or glass dishes. You can lower the oven temperature by 25°F when baking with these dishes.

  • Consider using the microwave or slow cooker to prepare your meal.

  • Use ENERGY STAR appliances.

  • Run your dishwasher when it is filled to capacity, but not overloaded.

  • Choose the shortest wash cycle that will clean your dishes, and scrape off food before loading dishes into the dishwasher.

More wattsmart tips to keep your energy costs down:

  • Set the thermostat to 68°F when you are at home. Lower the setting at bedtime and when you're away.
  • Install energy-efficient LED lighting. Check for special pricing on lighting.
  • Turn off unneeded chargers, game consoles, coffee makers, computers, TVs and other equipment when not in use. Better yet, plug them into a power strip or surge protector to ensure electronics are turned off completely.