Friday, December 19, 2008

'Tis the Season to Save Money!

Energy Saving Tips (Courtesy of JVR @ API)

Holiday Travel Tips
(Source fuel saving tips)

• Keep your tires properly inflated. Underinflated tires can decrease fuel economy by up to one mile per gallon.
• Slow down. The faster you drive, the more gasoline your car uses. Driving at 55 miles per hour rather than 65 miles per hour reduces fuel economy by about two miles per gallon.
• Avoid jackrabbit starts. Abrupt starts require about twice as much gasoline as gradual starts.
• Pace your driving. Unnecessary speedups, slowdowns and stops can decrease fuel economy by up to two miles per gallon. Stay alert and drive steadily, not erratically. Keep a reasonable, safe distance from the car ahead of you and anticipate traffic conditions.

Cooking Tips
(Source: California Energy Commission)

• Holiday ham and turkey are usually roasted for hours. Since it’s a long, slow cook, there is no need to preheat your oven, even when the recipe suggests it. In fact, unless you’re baking breads or pastries, you may not need to preheat the oven at all.
• Don’t open the oven door to sneak a peek at what is cooking inside. Instead, use the oven light to check the cooking status through the oven window. Opening the oven door can lower the oven
temperature by as much as 25 degrees, which increases cooking time and wastes energy.
• As long as your oven is on, cook several holiday favorites at the same time.
• When using your stove, match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air. Believe it or not, a six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste over 40 percent of the energy!

How to Save Electricity Used by Holiday Lights
(Source : Alliance to Save Energy)

• Turn off your holiday lights before you go to bed, or consider installing timers to reduce the amount of time your holiday lights are on. Just 10 strands lit for 13 hours a day can add more than $50 to a monthly energy bill.
• Use energy-efficient LED holiday lights, which use 10 percent of the energy of mini lights.

Tips to Save Energy with Electronics
(Source : Department of Energy)

• In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance.
• For new holiday electronics gifts, unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.

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