May Your Holidays be Bright, and Your Utility Bill Dim


Jacksonville, FL - The winter holiday season can be the most expensive months for utility bills. Below is a list of top tips for conserving energy and water during the holiday season.

Conserve While Cooking

  • Turkeys and hams are typically slow roasted for many hours - there’s no need to preheat your oven.
  • Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside by as much as 25 degrees, increases cooking time, and heats up your kitchen. Instead, look through the oven window.
  • Use a microwave oven to cook smaller dishes quickly and efficiently. Microwaves use 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens and they don’t heat up the kitchen.
  • Slow cookers, or crock-pots, also are an efficient option. They can cook a whole meal for about $.17 worth of electricity.
  • Consider investing in Energy Star-qualified appliances which consume 10–50 percent less energy and water than standard models. You can save more money on utilities than you spent on the new appliance.
  • If you are frying food, recycle your used cooking oil which can be turned into biodiesel. You can deposit used cooking oil at any one of the 21 participating Jacksonville Fire & Rescue stations.

Decorating Tips

  • LED Holiday lights are a great option. They use far less energy than conventional string lights, have a longer lifespan, and operate at a much lower temperature, reducing the risk of fire.
  • Set timers for lights to automatically turn on when it gets dark and off in the middle of the night, depending on your preferences.
  • Reflective ornaments and tinsel are just as bright at night, so getting creative with your lighting display can multiply your resources for shine.

Traveling and Receiving Guests

  • If you plan on traveling for the holidays, there are ways to save on energy when you are not home:
    • If you are leaving for 2-3 days, turn your thermostat down. Turn your water heater off. Just don’t forget to turn it back on immediately upon arrival.
    • If you are leaving for 4 or more days, consider turning your water main off unless other water consuming appliances (e.g. water softeners) may be negatively impacted. In the case that a pipe breaks, this will reduce your water consumption and your risk for flooding.
  • If you are receiving out of town guests, keep track of your energy usage with JEA’s Tracker.

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