The Green Leaf

Holiday energy-saving tips

December 30th, 2013


It's been a sunny holiday season in Honolulu, so rejoice if you have solar panels. If you don't, then put it on your New Year's resolution list because it's not too late — many solar contractors are offering informational sessions to help you navigate the new rules for solar PV installation.

Federal and state tax credits are still available, so there's no reason to delay.

Meanwhile, here are some holiday energy-saving tips from Hawaii Energy.


Use ENERGY STAR LED light strings, which use about 70 to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent strings. (I was surprised to see some ads for incandescent holiday lights out there). Even if they are on sale, consider the energy savings you will reap from LED lights — which can also be found at a good price. I bet they're on sale now that Christmas is over.

Limit the Time of Outdoor Lights

Use a timer to automatically turn off indoor or outdoor Christmas lighting displays.


Keep Oven Doors Closed

Ovens lose about 25 degrees requiring additional energy to bring the temperature back up. Use the smallest pan and burner needed for the job. Cook with lids on your pans (cooking pasta without a lid can use three times as much energy).


Keep the refrigerator door closed, too. Refrigerators get a real workout during the holidays and remains the second largest energy consumer in your home. Keep the doors closed as much as possible and try not to cram too much food at once (tough when you have a turkey in there).


Only wash full loads, use cold water (which requires less energy) and air dry as much as possible.

Posted in Energy | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Holiday energy-saving tips”

  1. zzzzzz:

    While washing with cold water may require less energy than using hot or warm water, the environmental (and economic) impact of washing (and rinsing) with hot or warm water may be less than that of washing with cold water.

    For those of us who use solar water heaters heat our water, washing (and rinsing) with cold water doesn't use any more electricity, or gas, than washing with cold water. However, it takes more energy to dry clothes right after a cold rinse than after a hot or warm rinse, and thus the environmental (and economic) impact of washing (and rinsing) with cold water is greater in these cases.

    Additionally, for those who have solar water heaters and air condition their homes, the solar heat absorbed in heating the water used to do laundry reduces the heat load for the AC, as does the reduced drying times for those who also use electric or gas dryers.

    I realize you are getting your information from Hawaii Energy, but I suggest you don't take their advice at face value. This example suggests they are sometimes wrong.

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