The holidays usually mean seeing more of your family, friends and getting that contagious jolly feeling. Although it can be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the busiest and most expensive. Family gatherings and colder weather can cause a ruckus in your home, not to mention the added cost of buying gifts. Direct Energy recommends these holiday hacks to help you keep your costs down and spirits up this season.
Savings Around the Home
Whether your home is the designated spot for this year’s family gatherings or you have month-long plans with a book and some hot chocolate, preparing your home for the season can save you money on your electric bill, protect you from costly repairs, and keep your home and family safe.
- Adjust your thermostat. Heating and cooling your home is the biggest single factor in your electric bill, so the less you use your heater, the better. Try experimenting with lower temperature settings. You may be surprised at the temperatures that still feel comfortable. Try aiming for 68° when you’re home and 62° to 66° when you’re away or asleep.
- Reverse your ceiling fans. Set your ceiling fans to spin clockwise to draw up cooler air and blow down warmer air. You’ll feel warmer and need your central heater less.
- Close your curtains. Curtains provide insulation to prevent heat loss through windows. Thicker or thermally-backed window treatments can be even more effective.
- Check your weather stripping. Drafts from your doors and windows can be another culprit of heat loss and a higher electric bill. Try closing a tissue in your door and pull. If the tissue pulls free, it’s time to replace your weather stripping.
- Save on Lighting. Try decorating your home with LED holiday lights. They’re more energy efficient, last longer, and are safer for kids since they are cool to the touch. Set your lights on a timer so they automatically turn off at bedtime, and accentuate the effect of your indoor holiday light display by limiting other lighting like lamps and overhead lights.
- Get creative with your décor. Try using more reflective decorations to increase the lighting effects without more lights, or forgo the lights all together and create a different kind of holiday display.
- Prep your Fireplace. Colder weather is part of the appeal of the holidays. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, you can enjoy this treat all season long — but fireplace maintenance is crucial. Schedule an annual chimney inspection. Cleaning is critical to making sure you can enjoy a warm fire without risking anyone’s health or safety and this is a task you don’t want to do yourself.
- Save this holiday with 100+ days of free power. With the added costs of the holidays it’s always a relief when you can save. With Direct Energy’s Free Weekends plan, you won’t be charged for the electricity you use from Friday at 6pm through Sunday at 11:59pm**. Which makes this the electricity plan with the most free weekend hours in Texas*. What are you waiting for? Sign up and enjoy not having to stress over your weekend electricity usage during the most wonderful time of the year.
This season also fuels the urge in many of us to help other families have a happy holiday. If you’re looking for ways you can give to others this season, here are some ideas:
- Volunteer at a Shelter or Soup Kitchen. To find out how you can help, try the “Soup Something” page at Dosomething.org.
- Participate in a Clothing Drive. During colder weather, extra clothes and coats are more needed than ever.
- Volunteer at a Food Pantry or Food Drive. Visit feedingamerica.org for information about food banks in your area.
- Perform random acts of kindness. You never know who needs some extra cheer this season. Pay it forward in a coffee line, over-tip your server, or leave nice notes on cars.
- Help someone pay their electricity bill. Many Texans are unable to pay their electricity bill, and this can make the holidays hard. Bring light to a Texan family by donating to Direct Energy’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor program.
- Volunteer or donate to a children’s hospital. Bring some holiday cheer to kids who are in the hospital this season. One great resource for hospitals in your community is the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, who provides funding for kids to receive medical care.
We hope you have a happy and stress-free holiday season!
*Most free hours weekend electricity claim as of November 20, 2017 when compared to other retail electric providers offers listed on the powertochoose.org website. Subject to change.
**Offer valid for new residential customers in Texas only. Provisioned smart meter required. Certain eligibility requirements, fees, taxes, terms and conditions apply. Cancellation fees may apply.