Don’t include energy hogs in your festivities

Horry Electric and other electric cooperatives that participate in the Cooperative Research Network are sharing tips to keep your holiday merry and bright without inviting in an energy hog.

 The holiday season is a time for spending and giving, but some electric cooperatives, including Horry Electric,  are urging members to consider energy savings.

“NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network is wrapping up the year with suggestions designed to help co-op members save money,” says Penelope Hinson, manager of public relations, marketing and energy management for Horry Electric.  “And we’re sharing them with our members.” 

NRECA, or the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, is the national service organization dedicated to representing the national interest of cooperative electric utilities and the members they serve.

“From holiday decorating, to gifts and family gatherings, there are opportunities to save energy,” said Brian Sloboda, a CRN senior program manager. “Used correctly, some of the best gifts can help you save energy throughout the year.” Light emitting diode Christmas lights are one timely example. Five years after the first generation of LED lights began disappearing off store shelves, newer designs are claiming a growing share of the market. “Newer LEDs are brighter and more colorful,” Sloboda said. “They’re also plastic and more durable than glass. They also work independently so that if one goes out, you don’t have to replace the whole string.”

CRN also recommends using timers for lighting displays both indoors and out, Sloboda said. “Set them to turn on at dusk and off around bedtime, so you’ll lose less energy when everyone’s sleeping.”

In many areas, televisions have been a popular gift since the shopping season began. CRN  suggests considering  model specifications instead of just brand names.

“When you turn those things off, they are still using energy,” Sloboda said. “Some of the models available use less energy than others. If you are interested in energy savings, find a knowledgeable salesperson.”

For stocking stuffers, one of the best choices around for saving energy is the power strip, Sloboda said. “They may be the gift that keeps on saving throughout the year.”

While some power strips feature a simple on and off switch, others are so-called “smart power strips,” which sense when devices are not in use and go into a reduced consumption mode.

For holiday entertaining, lowering the thermostats a few degrees before guests arrive could make it less likely you’ll have to open a window to cool off, once the house is full, Sloboda said. “You also don’t have to preheat the oven to cook large meats like turkey or ham.”

Source:  Electric Co-op Today story by Derrill Holly | ECT Staff Writer

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