Energy Tech and Tips for the Holidays

‘Tis the season to be energy efficient.

Whether you’re shopping for gifts, decorating your home or celebrating with family and friends—energy conservation can be part of your holiday season! Why not consider giving the gift of energy savings?

Smart electronics: There are multiple smart devices that connect to a home’s Wi-Fi network, allowing the user to control them from an app on a mobile phone or from a smart speaker. Smart light bulbs, switches and outlets allow you to turn lights or appliances on or off even when you’re away from home.

Smart thermostats: Upgrading to a smart thermostat can make saving energy almost effortless. These thermostats automatically adjust your household’s heating and cooling systems, for example, lowering the temperature when you're away in the winter or raising it in the summer. Like other smart devices, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely. Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program is offering a $75 incentive on smart thermostats for eligible MGE customers. To learn more, visit focusonenergy.com/smart.

Home energy monitors: For early adopters of new technologies, an energy monitor may be the right gift. MGE is exploring the use of the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The small device attaches to a home’s electrical panel, then develops profiles of appliances in the home that use electricity. An app shows the electric use of household appliances, allowing users to make energy-saving adjustments.

LED holiday lights

LED holiday lights

LED light bulbs: A festive holiday season often includes lighting. Look for ENERGY STAR-certified LED string lights or light bulbs. LEDs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last at least 15 times longer. And, if hanging outdoor lights, make use of a timer to power displays on and off at specific times to save energy. 

With many households seeing more traffic over the holiday season, be sure to be energy wise by following some simple tips:

Set your furnace fan to “auto” instead of “on.” This is one of the biggest steps you can take to be energy efficient at home.

Adjust your thermostat at night or when you’re away. You can save 10% on your heating bill by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day. Visit mge.com for recommended settings.

Take advantage of the sun. Open your blinds or drapes to let in the sunshine during the day. Close them at night to reduce heat loss and drafts.

Close your garage door. Keep cold winter air from entering your garage. Allow your garage door to act as a buffer.

Avoid phantom energy use. If you’re taking a vacation over the holidays, unplug electronics that won’t be in use but still draw “phantom energy.”

published: Nov-27-2018