It’s the season for decorating with festive lights, wreaths and bows. During this time of year, SCE&G shares tips on how to have a safe, bright and energy-efficient holiday.
“Energy usage typically increases this time of year with many people decorating their homes with light strands, entertaining guests and cooking holiday meals,” said Ginger Greenway, manager of energy information services for SCE&G. “The greatest gift we can give our customers is educating them on the many opportunities they have to be efficient with their seasonal energy use and to be safe while doing so.”
SCE&G recommends the following lighting conservation and safety tips:
- Reduce Usage: A simple way to cut energy bills during the holidays is to limit electricity usage to periods when decorations can be fully enjoyed. Use a timer to turn off lights during specified times.
- Buy LED lights: Switch to long-lasting and energy-efficient ENERGY STAR LED holiday lights, which uses 70 percent less energy, are eco-friendly and are cooler than non-LED lighting.
- Don’t overload your electric circuits: Check fuses or circuit breaker panels to see what your home can handle and stay well within the limits. Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. Look for the “test” and “reset” buttons to be sure it is a GFCI-protected circuit.
- Plan your layout: Don’t run extension cords under rugs, around furniture legs, or across doorways. Ensure the electrical setup is safe for small children and pets.
To be even more energy-friendly this holiday season, consider the following:
- Entertain efficiently: Holiday parties are a big part of the season and of course with that comes the food preparation. Consider turning the thermostat down and allowing the heat from cooking and warm bodies gathered for festivities help keep the temperature comfortable.
- Give energy-efficient gifts: Consider buying gifts that don’t use electricity or batteries, or purchase gifts that use rechargeable batteries and chargers.
- No peeking: It’s tempting to frequently open the oven door to check on a dish’s progress, but every time the door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, forcing it to work harder. Use the oven window instead to check on a dish.
For more energy-saving tips, visit sceg.com/energytips. Additional safety tips may be found on the Electrical Safety Foundation International website, esfi.org.