Although many homeowners may not realize it, the holidays are a prime time of year for energy waste. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, holiday lighting consumes the equivalent electricity of about 500,000 homes in just one month. And from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, Americans will throw away 25 percent more trash than they typically throw out the rest of the year. Because wasted electricity and extra trash lead to higher utility bills and more environmental strain, many customers are seeking ways to celebrate a greener holiday. Smart-home solution provider Vivint recommends five tips to save energy at home this season:
- Energy-efficient appliances—A perfect gift this Christmas, energy-efficient appliances use between 10 and 50 percent less energy than their conventional counterparts.
- Home automation—Smart home technology allows homeowners to automatically lock and unlock their doors, control holiday lights remotely, and schedule their smart thermostats all from a smartphone. All of these features save energy, and the smart thermostat alone can save up to $180 a year in energy costs.
- LED light bulbs—LED Christmas lights (and LED lights in general) only use 10 percent of the power needed by incandescent lights and they last as much as 10 times longer. Conveniently, Vivint's Energy Management package comes with 12 energy-efficient bulbs.
- Recycling—Recycling holiday wrapping supplies is a small effort that can make a big difference. In fact, if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
- Solar—Installing solar panels is one of the greenest power solutions for any homeowner—and a great green gift. Thanks to solar's growing popularity, it has also become possible to install a solar energy system with no upfront costs and see huge savings immediately.