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    Christmas money saving ideas: Cutting energy costs

    Have a merry and energy efficient festive season

    Hannah | Oneflare

    When the Christmas season rolls around, our homes are adorned with colourful lights and festive decorations to mark the joyous occasion. Holiday music plays in the background and the oven is kept warm for the Christmas ham. December is a memorable time, but keeping the costs low and bills lean can sometimes be a challenge.

    To keep the silly season hassle-free and cost-friendly, check out these expert tips on how to have an energy efficient, environmentally considerate and family-friendly Christmas without compromising your holiday budget.

    The Christmas tree: Real or artificial?

    Plastic trees are ubiquitous in shopping centres and Christmas stores but rather than setting up an artificial tree, putting up a real tree is an environmentally friendlier alternative.

    Consider using a more environmentally-friendly real Christmas tree for your festive decor / Source: Shutterstock

    Real trees add a natural and refreshing element to your indoor or outdoor space – not to mention a uniquely festive scent in the air. For a super sustainable option, plant the tree in your backyard when Christmas is over and watch it grow for future use. It will give you time to nurture and enjoy the plant year after year. If you are looking for a single use tree, real plants are also easily disposable and biodegradable, breaking down naturally in the environment.

    Energy saving appliances

    Cut excess costs on your energy bill by being mindful of your oven – try to cook several items on your Christmas menu together rather than turning your oven on and off multiple times a day. Christmas is also a great excuse to indulge in a candlelight dinner, saving costs and ramping up the festive atmosphere in your home.

    Robert from Tyrenian Group emphasises that keeping the filters of your air conditioner clean can minimise your bill.

    “Air conditioners need to be able to breathe and dirty filters can block 20-25% of the air flow, meaning the machine has to pump air harder, using more energy,” he says.

    Light up for less

    Part of the joy of Christmas is the abundance of glowing, twinkling lights that seem to appear as if by magic every season. For a cost-saving and eco-friendly option consider using LED lights when the holiday season rolls around.

    LED lights are considered more efficient as they emit more lumens for every watt. This means LED lights shine brighter despite having lower watts than the incandescent bulb, ultimately cutting costs on your energy bill. They’re also environmentally friendly as they radiate less energy from the bulb as heat and maximising the energy conversion into light. In addition, some LED lights can use a solar cell as a power source, so you wont have any electrical fees to pay at all.

    Consider opting for LED lights for your festive decor / Source: Shutterstock

    Within recent years, manufacturers have begun to make Christmas LED lights in a huge assortment of sizes, designs and colours, in both twinkling and non-twinkling styles.

    To get the most out of your bulbs, try:

    • Placing it in an open area, rather than an enclosed space, to prolong the lifespan
    • Setting timers on your string bulbs or turning off your lights when you sleep and leave your home

    Different types of LED Christmas lights

    If you’re a bit of a sentimentalist and you love the idea of an old-fashioned Christmas, you may prefer the sight of vintage-looking fairy lights over more contemporary lighting designs. Todays fairy lights however, are made with energy-efficient LED bulbs, so you’ll be able to use them year after year without having to constantly change bulbs. LED fairy lights come in both indoor and outdoor varieties and can be used to create all sorts of designs on the front of your house.

    Another popular style is LED icicle lights. These are strung along a primary cord and hang down in a cascade of glistening bulbs. They’re especially attractive when hung from the eaves of a roof, archway or doorway. LED lights are also used in lighted lawn ornaments depicting snowmen, reindeer, Santa, and all sorts of popular Christmas cartoon characters. These come with either white or multi-coloured lights and can be hung on a wall or set up in your yard.

    Installing outdoor lights

    Light up your outdoor areas with installations that are specifically designed for the outdoors. Check the packaging for the weather rating of the lights and ensure you are installing light bulbs that are outdoor friendly, hardy and long lasting.

    Source: Events by Wendy

    If outdoor lights are not an option, Brad from McGregor Electrical & Communications advises careful attention to running power leads.

    “Don’t run power leads on the ground or through your garden. If you have eaves, fasten weatherproof plugs underneath the eaves or feed the chords through the window,” he says.

    Outdoor hooks and screws are prone to corrosion and rust so when installing your outdoor lighting feature, play particular attention to its sturdiness and avoid old screws or unreliable hooks. Opt for electrical tape or clips that can be used to hold down your Christmas lights.

    When you are setting up your lighting feature, ensure your backyard power board is not overpowered and prevent plugging in more chords than the power board can handle. A safe rule is to avoid plugging in too many double adaptors. If you notice one of your lights are dim, replace the light bulb as it can drain the power of the entire feature, dimming the other lights.

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