Green living: energy-saving tips from Santee Cooper - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Green living: energy-saving tips from Santee Cooper

Moncks Corner, SC -

From Santee Cooper

MONCKS CORNER, SC –The holidays are filled with twinkling lights, homemade meals and trips to see relatives – all of which can put a dent in your pocketbook and take the shine off the season. To help avoid becoming a penny-pinching Scrooge, consider saving money this holiday season by being more energy efficient.

Energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) Christmas lights have increased in popularity over the past few years. Once difficult to find, they now come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and are readily available in most stores that sell holiday decorations.

"LED holiday lights are inexpensive and can save homeowners significantly, especially if the homeowners have a tendency to leave their holiday lights on for extended periods of time," said Zack Dusenbury, vice president of retail operations. "Conserving energy by using LED holiday lights can help you save money, and that helps Santa buy extra gifts for your good little girls and boys."

According to the U.S. Department of Energy's website, decorating a 6-foot tree with LED lights and keeping it lit for 12 hours a day for 40 days will save homeowners 90 percent more energy than if the tree was lit with ordinary incandescent bulbs. LED lights also last approximately 20,000 hours, which can be enough for 40 holiday seasons.

LEDs have several safety advantages over ordinary bulbs too. LED lights are much cooler than incandescent bulbs, which reduces the risk of fire and personal injury. Because they are typically made from durable plastic instead of glass, LEDs are more resilient than ordinary incandescent holiday lights. It's also safer to connect strings of LEDs because they use less power, which helps protect the wall socket from overloading.

In addition to using LED lights for decorating, homeowners can save energy and money over the holidays by using these common sense tips:

  • Put your holiday lights on an automatic timer or make sure you unplug your lights at night before retiring for a long winter's nap.
  • When baking, keep the oven door closed. Check the progress of your festive feast by turning on the oven light instead.
  • Consider using a microwave for cooking side dishes.
  • If you're traveling for the holidays, turn your heat down to 50 degrees while you're away from home.
  • Using a fireplace can offset heating costs, although roasting chestnuts is optional.

Yes, Virginia, there really are easy ways to save money by saving energy this season. So haul out the holly, deck the halls and have an enjoyable, energy-efficient holiday.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility, and the state's largest power producer. The ultimate source of electricity for 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper is dedicated to being the state's leading resource for improving the quality of life for the people of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.

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