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Save This Christmas With Solar Power

The holiday season can be a magical time of year -- it can also be an expensive one. When you take into account all the big meals to make, cookies to bake, gifts to buy, decorations and lights to string...costs can start to add up quickly. It's no wonder that so many homeowners see major spikes in their electric bills around this time of year.

While the weather gets colder outside, inside homes have to work hard to stay cozy. From whole-home heating to firing up the water heater to battle colder pipes, it's a constant uptick for your monthly energy usage. Of course, we haven’t even really mentioned the often big energy sucker this time of year -- Christmas lights. They are bright, and cherry, and bring joy to your home, whether strung around your indoor Christmas tree or wrapped around your roofline. Those extra light expenses add up quickly, especially if you get your lights and decorations up right by December 1st (if not sooner).

Cutting Back On All That Holiday Cheer

There are several factors that cause utility bills to spike during the holiday season, ranging from extra house guests and later evening festivities to nonstop Christmas music playing (starting after Halloween, of course) to decorative features, including those elaborate light projections and adorable inflatable characters. It can seem impossible to cut down on your energy usage during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The good news is that you don’t have to be the Scrooge or Grinch of the neighborhood to ensure you don’t burn up your holiday spending budget.

We’ve got some quick tips for saving on your utility bill this season:

Put Those Vintage Christmas Lights & Light Up Reindeer to Rest

Aside from certain holiday decorations that may hold sentimental value, consider overhauling your lighting and electric decorations with modern options. There are numerous options for saving big on Christmas lights while keeping the traditional and beautiful string light look, from LED string lights to solar-powered light displays. Overall, you could be spending as little as 10% of the cost of those traditional string lights, which makes a major difference over the course of a month.

Good Things Must Come to an End (of the Timer)

That means putting a timer on all those string lights, wreaths, garlands, and other decorations sucking electricity. Most newer lights and decor will include built-in timers, or you can invest in a timer that plugs into your outlet to route all other plugs through. There are even some remote or wifi operated operations that allow for maximum control and efficiency.

Invest in a Smart Thermostat

What about an early Christmas gift to yourself? Having a smart thermostat enables you to effectively program your household thermostat while ensuring maximum savings and energy efficiency as the temperatures start to drop. You’ll be sleeping soundly knowing you aren’t dealing with a constant thermostat battle throughout the colder months to stay cozy and cost efficient.

Solar Panels Get You n the Nice List

Of course, if you really want to get on Santa’s environmentally nice list and put a rest to your holiday energy spending woes, solar panels are the way to go. Most homes that have solar panels in Sonoma County are able to majorly reduce or eliminate their electric bills. Throw in a solar battery, and you can even store up power for those emergency times or cloudier days (dare we dream of a white Christmas?).

While solar panels involve upfront investment, the long-term energy-saving solutions are beyond worth it. Combine solar panels and solar storage with LED light displays and our other quick tips, and you’ll be bringing festive cheer to the whole neighborhood without facing that dreaded uptick in energy expenses at the end of the holiday season. After all, lumps of coal aren’t what they used to be.

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