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Make your season bright while cutting down on your energy usage

Make your season bright while cutting down on your energy usage

Tis the season to deck out your house with holidays lights galore! Consider the following tips this year to help keep your energy costs low while still being the hit of the neighborhood:

Go LED
Avoid the frustration of working with half-lit strands of traditional incandescent holiday lights by investing in LED light strands. Not only do they use 70 percent less energy, they are brighter and cooler than traditional lights. LED light strands also last ten times longer and are more durable.

Limit your use
Consider setting a timer to limit the amount of time when your holidays light are on. This will help keep your energy costs low especially if you have traditional incandescent bulbs that use more energy than LED lights.

Go reflective
Who says you need actual lights to sparkle this holiday season? Reflective silver balls or tinsel can work wonders to “borrow” some shine from your neighbors’ costly light extravaganza! These, plus some garland and wreaths can make your house as beautiful as the North Pole without adding a penny to your electric bill!

For more green tips, visit lcec.net.

Green tips to save you green

From evergreen trees to the Grinch, green is all around us during the holiday season! Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday make you forget simple green tips like these:

• When cooling your home, set the thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Each degree below adds 8 to 12 percent to the cooling costs.
• When heating your home, set the thermostat at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Since heating costs three times more than cooling, consider using a space heater or electric blanket.
• While away from home for more than two hours, set the thermostat at 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise and lower the temperature at certain times of the day.
• Be sure your thermostat fan switch is set on the “auto” setting. This is more economical for temperature and humidity control.
• Change or clean filters monthly.
• Keep windows and exterior doors closed when running your air conditioner or heater. Also, use caulk and weather strip around windows and doors.
• Turn off fans when the room is not occupied. Each continuously running fan costs approximately $7 per month on your electric bill.
• Run pool pumps for a maximum of 8 hours a day in the summer, and 6 hours per day in the winter, unless you are heating the pool.
• Use a minimum of R-30 insulation in the ceiling/attic floor to save on heating and air conditioning costs.

Simple green tips like these will help cut your electric costs, which can be particularly helpful during the expensive holiday season! Happy Holidays from LCEC!

Gobble up energy savings this Thanksgiving

Ready or not, Thanksgiving is next week! As you prepare your home to welcome family and friends, consider the following tips to prevent yourself from becoming an energy turkey:

Keep it shut
Opening the oven door, even a crack, wastes electricity! Rather than opening the door and letting out the heat, flip on the oven light and monitor your delicious feast that way.

Fill ‘er up
Give your oven a break this Thanksgiving by cooking as many things as you can at once! If you are able to cook some appetizer, dinner and dessert items at once, you can cut down on your electric usage…and give your oven a much-deserved rest.

Be a microwave maven
Microwaves cook food fast and use less electricity than ovens. Consider cooking side dishes in the microwave.

Don’t burn up electricity
Make sure you match up pots and pans to your burners. Using a small pot on a big burner wastes electricity.

Load er’ up
Save time, water and electricity by using your dishwasher to clean your Thanksgiving mess. If possible, scrape food from dishes to prevent the need to pre-rinse.

Use these simple tips to gobble up savings while simplifying your Thanksgiving to do list! LCEC wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

LCEC Volunteer “Elves” to Decorate Edison & Ford Winter Estates for Holiday Nights

LCEC employees are gearing up to once again volunteer to decorate the Edison & Ford Winter Estates for their annual Holiday Nights! This year marks the 42nd annual Holiday Nights celebration where the Edison & Ford Winter Estates are adorned in period decorations from the 1880s to the 1920s. Volunteers from local organizations and businesses are invited each year to take part in the honor of decorating this local landmark. The outpouring of volunteers each year make this huge undertaking not just possible, but fun for folks of all ages! Holiday Nights runs from November 24 through December 31 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Opening night will feature a traditional tree-lighting ceremony, carolers, and cartooning for kids with Doug MacGregor. For more information about Holiday Nights, call 239-334-7419. LCEC is proud to be part of this event!

Ways to keep warm while keeping energy costs cool

Cold days are on their way! While it may be tempting to turn on the heat, it is important to remember that heating can cost two to three times more than cooling. Consider using a heating blanket or small portable space heater instead. Not only are these options economical, they are just as effective in keeping those toes warm on chilly nights, but keep the following in mind:

Heating blanket:
Never use a heating blanket on very small children or people with disabilities. Control cords should never run between a mattress and bedspring. Read safety pamphlet thoroughly before use.

Space heater:
Look for space heaters with safety features such as tip-over and overheat protection. Read the manufacturer instructions, and use caution in where you place the heater and turning it off when not in use.

If a heating blanket or space heater won’t cut it and you must turn on the heat, LCEC recommends setting the thermostat between 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit. For more tips on heating and other ways to save on your electricity usage, visit www.lcec.net.

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