Utility offers energy tips for holidays
With the holiday season here, National Grid offers the following tips to help customers:
•Using the smallest appliance for the job while cooking during the holidays will always save energy. Microwave ovens use less than half the energy required by a full oven. Use ovens most efficiently by keeping the door closed as much as possible and bake several dishes at the same time and temperature.
•Natural gas stove burners should have a blue flame. A continuous yellow flame is a sign of gas burning inefficiently. Also check the seal around the oven door for cracks or tears and make sure the door seals tightly.
• Household appliances will keep using electricity even if you are not there. If going on vacation during the holidays, unplug televisions, stereos, computers, VCRs, chargers, etc. since these all draw small amounts of electricity even when they are turned off. Unplug any refrigerator that does not contain perishable food.
•Consider converting your woodburning fireplace to energy-efficient natural gas. Traditional masonry fireplaces are only 10 to 25-percent efficient and they draw heat from your home up the chimney. Natural gas burns cleaner and is up to 80- percent efficient without the hassle of wood, ashes and smoke. A simple flick of a switch will turn on and off the warmth and glow of your holiday fire.
•Winter is a great time to replace old incandescent lighting with new ENERGY STAR® lighting. Replacing five lights with ENERGY STAR light bulbs can save $9 per month on your electricity bill.
•Keep extra beverages cold by storing them in your garage or on the porch. Unplugging that second refrigerator saves $23 per month on the electricity bill.
•If purchasing new holiday lights, consider seasonal light emitting diode, or LED, strings of lights. These can use up to 95 percent less energy than conventional bulbs, and they last seven times longer than traditional bulbs.
•Using holiday lighting wisely can lower power consumption. Timers and photo cells can also help reduce power usage by turning the lights on at dusk and turning them off at a desired time. Avoid leaving lights on all night.