Helpful Holiday Energy Saving Tips


chris balzarBy Chris Balzer, ECES

This holiday season is unlike any other, to cap off a year unlike any other. Throughout this season, and as we move into a new (and hopefully better) year, we wish you moments of peace amid the difficulties, connections with family and friends, even if they can’t be in person, the warmth of memories from holidays past and wonderful glimpses of the joy that still lives under the surface.

We would also like to share a few holiday energy savings tips to help brighten your nights and lower your energy bills.

Switch to LED lights when decorating. LED lights use 80 to 90% less energy than incandescent lights. If you aren’t sure if you have incandescent lighting or not, you can tell if you have incandescent lights when it is warm or hot to the touch. We recommend using a digital thermometer to test to avoid injury. It is estimated that four strands of LED lights will save $30 this month compared to four strands of the traditional lighting. It is also a good idea to use timers to reduce the amount of time holiday lighting stays on, plus one less thing worry about.

When cooking the holiday feast, don’t forget about the smaller appliances. Crockpots and microwaves use less energy and give off less heat than ovens and stoves. Also consider co-cooking. If one dish needs to bake at 400° and the other at 350°, consider sharing the baking time and set your oven at 375° and bake both dishes.

Electronics are always a popular gift. You can get those electronics and save energy. When choosing electronics: TV’s, computers, gaming consoles, etc., always look for Energy Star qualified electronics. These qualified electronics use less energy and save energy. Rechargeable batteries and LED lighting might not be on top of anyone’s list, but they make great stocking stuffers and save energy. Also, consider using smart power strips and turn off the electronics completely. Many electronics, even when powered off, still use energy. I call them energy vampires.

If you plan to leave this holiday season, think about automating your home. Put exterior and interior lighting on timers to avoid being on all day and night. Add a thermostat which you can control via Wi-Fi and your smart phone, in the event we get a cold streak or heat wave during the time you are away, you can control your home’s temperature. Also, remember to unplug those energy vampire electronics which use energy even when turned off.

When shopping for groceries, buying local foods and goods not only supports our community, but saves energy by reducing transportation-related energy costs.
It is always a good idea to give your home an energy checkup by a professional. They can pinpoint your biggest energy loss areas and provide suggestions and solutions to become more energy efficient.

We wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe and energy-efficient holiday season!

Chris Balzer is founder and president of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions, a smile-provider company. ECES provides smiles to its customers after installing high energy efficient products, increasing comfort and lowering energy bills. For more information on how to save and become energy efficient, schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit or email Save energy and “Beat the Heat.”