When your budget is already stretched from holiday activities, decorations, gifts and cards, try saving money with these energy-saving tips provided by the California Energy Commission:
- Cook several of your holiday foods at the same time. Just make sure you leave enough room for the heat to circulate around each dish.
- Microwaving foods rather than using a conventional oven uses around 50 percent less energy. Try using them to bake sweet potatoes, steam fresh vegetables or heat up leftovers.
- Remove all needed items from your refrigerator or freezer at one time. Leaving the door open for a longer period of time while you take out the items you need is more efficient than opening and closing it several times.
- Use your dishwasher. A load of dishes cleaning in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand.
- Evaluate your holiday lights. While most C7 or C9 energy-efficient bulbs use 5-7 watts per bulb, some of the older strings use up to 10 watts per bulb.