Tips for Saving Energy Over the Holidays

Make the holidays energy efficient.

With all the holiday lights, get-togethers and cooking, energy use can increase this time of year. Follow these simple tips to save energy at home this holiday season.

Holiday decorating

  • Use LED lights. LEDs are ideal for tree and holiday lighting since they are brighter, can last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs, use a fraction of the energy of conventional bulbs (about 75% less) and stay cooler. 
  • Adjust your indoor lighting to account for glowing decorations. Reduce energy usage by turning off household lights and letting your holiday LEDs shine as the main lighting source.
  • Put lights and decorations on a timer to control the amount of time your holiday lights and displays are on, turning them on when it gets dark and off at bedtime.  

When cooking

  • Gather all the ingredients from your refrigerator and freezer in one or two trips. The more you open and close those appliances, the more cold air will escape, forcing them to work harder and use more energy.
  • Use room-temperature ingredients and bake several dishes at the same time to reduce energy use.
  • When cooking on a stovetop, make sure lids on pots and pans are snug to help keep in heat. This will help to shorten cooking time.
  • For smaller dishes, use your microwave instead of your oven whenever possible. Microwaves draw less than half the power of a regular oven, and they cook for a much shorter period of time. 
  • Avoid opening the oven door to check on those holiday cookies and treats. Each time the door is opened, heat escapes.
  • You can also save by turning the oven off 10 to 15 minutes before dishes are done to take advantage of residual heat. 


  • Set your refrigerator temperature between 35 and 38 degrees and your freezer to 0 degrees.
  • Allow hot foods and liquids to cool off before placing them in your refrigerator. Hot foods in a fridge force it to work harder and use more energy to maintain temperature.
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator because uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees, wash laundry in cold water and always wash full loads of laundry and dishes.

Before visitors arrive and when traveling

  • Lower the thermostat before holiday gatherings. Cooking and warm bodies will raise the temperature in your home, so you can save by turning down the heat when guests arrive.
  • If you travel during the holidays, remember to lower your thermostat. Making the temperature just a few degrees cooler will have an impact. Also, set the fan to “auto,” not “on.” 
Visit for more energy-saving tips.

published: Dec-14-2023