Ho-ho-how to Keep Your Power Bill Low This Christmas
Christmas is upon us! For some, the silly season means spending time with friends and family and taking the time to reflect back on the year that was. For others, it’s about regrettable work functions, irreparable tan lines and trying to decide whether another slice of mum’s secret recipe pav is worth undoing the months of hard work you put into sculpting your beach bod.
Whatever Christmas means to you, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be finding some goodies under the tree this year (if you managed to keep your name off of Santa’s Naughty List, that is). However, amongst the colourfully wrapped presents you may very well find something that wasn’t on your wishlist at all - a big, fat power bill.
Yes, lighting up the Christmas tree, running air-con units and powering your shiny new electronics can all take their toll on your household’s energy consumption, which might have you seeing Rudolph-red when the time comes to pay your bill. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a total Grinch to keep your power bill low. Here are four easy ways you can get festively frugal and reduce your electricity consumption this Christmas:
1. Stick with energy efficient Christmas lights
Nothing evokes the holiday spirit quite like wrapping the house in coils of kitsch Christmas lights, but this does come at a cost - particularly if you fail to go for energy-efficient options. Traditional incandescent bulbs are inexpensive, but they’re very power hungry and also pose a slightly higher fire risk than other types of bulbs. Instead, opt for LED Christmas lights, which use around 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and should last for years and years.
Alternatively, consider ditching conventional trees altogether and picking up a fibre optic Christmas tree. These synthetic trees come with efficient LED lights built into the ‘branches’, allowing you to instantly create a beautiful ambiance without fiddling around with tangled wires. For outdoor lights, look at investing in solar options that harness the energy of the sun to power your lights. To maximise efficiency, couple your lighting of choice with an automatic timer. Set the timer so the lights only come on after sunset and switch off again after you go to sleep.
2. Cut down on kitchen time
From succulent hams to decadent pavlovas and everything in between, Christmas is the best time of year to loosen your belt buckle and enjoy the feast. However, there’s no denying that preparing and cooking everything takes a lot of work and the various appliances involved can consume a lot of power.
With this in mind, think about what small things you can do to reduce kitchen time over the holiday period. For instance, covering the Christmas ham with tin foil before popping it in the oven can help you shave hours off the cooking time and minimise your electricity use.
Take this concept to the next level by abandoning all pretense of cooking and buying the Christmas pav from the supermarket. Decorate it yourself so you can still claim you (more or less) made it. No one’s going to know the difference because - let’s face it - nobody’s eating pavlova for the meringue. Load that bad boy up with cream, strawberries and other decadent toppings and watch the compliments roll in. We won’t tell anyone, promise.
3. Look at the Energy Rating Label when gifting electronics
If you’re feeling particularly generous this Christmas, you might be toying with the idea of gifting electronics to someone special in your life. Before purchasing the product, be sure to check its Energy Rating Label. As the name implies, the Energy Rating Label is a simple rating system that measures the efficiency of all new televisions, computer screens, heat pumps and whiteware for sale in New Zealand. The more stars on the label, the more efficient it is.
In addition, for kids toys, camping gizmos and other portable electronics, consider gifting rechargeable batteries and a charger. Not only does this help you cut back on the number of batteries you’ll need to buy over the product’s lifetime, it’s also better for the planet.
4. Get outdoors
New Zealand weather is a fickle mistress but - at the risk of jinxing things - the holiday season is usually the best time of year to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery the country has to offer. Whether you hit the beach for the day, take the kids camping or simply set up the Christmas lunch outside in the fresh air, getting outdoors is a great way to get some Vitamin D in your bones while reducing the amount of power you use on lighting, air conditioning and other electronics.
Want to give your household the gift of cheaper electricity this Christmas? Get in touch with Pulse Energy and find out how much money you could be saving every month on your power bill.