Christmas is just around the corner. The annual time to relax, listen to Slade then head off into the (hopefully) snowy sunset until the new year.
Whether it’s hosting get-togethers or flicking through boxsets, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your energy usage through the holiday period. Luckily Outfox the Market has you covered with these trusty tips to help you bring in the energy saving this Christmas.
Make Christmas jumpers mandatory and turn down the thermostat
Christmas jumpers have made an impressive comeback over the past few years after being relegated to one of the biggest fashion faux pas piles. Topshop now boasts over 34 different designs and Lidl are even offering a Christmas jumper loan scheme.
Among all the bells and whistles it’s easy to forget that Christmas jumpers actually have a useful function - keeping you warm.
A typical UK household spends more than half its total energy costs on heating and hot water, according to the Energy Saving Trust and reducing the temperature by just 1ºC can cut fuel consumption by 8%. Wearing a Christmas jumper is an easy excuse to turn down the temperature and get everyone into the Christmas spirit. Consider creating games or competitions to encourage participation!
Throw out your old Christmas lights and upgrade to LED
Switching from conventional Christmas fairy lights to festive LED lights can reduce your tree’s energy consumption by up to 90%!
LED technology is evolving, with the energy efficiency and impressive lifespan outweighing any initial cost outlay. LED lights should last around 50,000 hours compared to standard incandescent bulbs which can just about make it to 1500.
The lights are also safer than your traditional bulbs, as they don’t contain any harmful metals like lead or mercury.
Perhaps most importantly, LED lights also shine brighter, so switching those old fairy lights out is a sure way to make the tree the centre of attention!
Shut that door!
No, it’s not Larry Grayson speaking - but keeping the doors closed quickly when greeting your party guests or nipping out for a quick taste of snow is an excellent way to stop precious warmth from escaping. No need for handshakes on the porch, get everyone into the hallway. 15% of heat loss goes walking out the door and even worse, 18% of the warmth in a home is lost via the windows.
Strategically placing some Christmas decorations across those drafty spots, might help alleviate any potential warmth wastage
Turn off those devices!
It might be the most obvious one here but make sure all the devices that aren’t necessary are turned off - this means standby too!
Standby devices or ‘vampire’ devices are still actively drawing energy even when they seem like they aren’t in use.
Back in 2007, the International Energy Agency estimated that standby mode was responsible for about 1% of global carbon emissions. Which for devices that are ‘turned off’ is huge.
Luckily now, EU regulations do specify that non-networked electrical devices sold after 2013 cannot have a standby power greater than 0.5W, which has made an impact but the average UK household still spends £55 a year powering appliances left on standby -
Adopting an "energy efficient" Christmas dinner
If you are laying on a spread for your hungry guests or even just yourself, then a few tweaks in how you go about the preparation and cooking can go a long way when boosting your eco credentials and saving you some extra energy
One radical change could be switching the traditional full turkey roast for a chicken, saving on the length of cooking and in tow, the time your cooker is turned on.
After cooking, there is always the option to turn down the thermostat by at least a few degrees or two and let the excess heat from the kitchen provide some warmth.
Upcycled Secret Santa
Secret Santa is the cornerstone of all good Christmas traditions. A good energy-saving tip, in both personal and carbon footprint terms - (also putting aside once and for all any arguments about price limits and expense), is opting to upcycle or regift an item you no longer have use for.
Although the number of people in the UK who claim to dislike Secret Santa is starting to dwindle further, from 19% to 31% in 2019. Breathing new life into this old tradition, with this eco twist is likely to get even the most stubborn back on board.
And Finally...Be Smart
Installing a SMART meter will ensure your energy bills are accurate, and allow you to keep a close eye on your usage over the festive period!
When you install a SMART meter, it'll automatically run in the background and provide readings, showing how much electricity and gas you use. The SMART meter removes the need to remember submission dates so you can keep laser focussed trying to make Brussel sprouts actually taste good.
SMART meters also provide an In-Home Display (IHD) helping you make informed decisions about your energy usage by showing pounds and pence in near real-time usage. It can show you the times of day when energy usage is at its peak and allows you to make suitable changes to help with your bills.