CCEC’s 12 Days of Christmas

tree1. Light your tree the efficient way! This year, string your tree with LED (light emitting diodes) Christmas lights instead of the standard bulbs. In the past few years, LEDs have become much more affordable and they last at least 10 times longer than standard bulbs. LEDs are safe. Since they don’t get hot, they greatly reduce the fire risk when used with real trees. Another great perk is that if an LED bulb goes out, it won’t affect the other bulbs. If LED lights were to run for six hours a day for 30 days at 7 cents per kilowatt-hour, they’d cost less than 5 cents per strand. A standard strand of lights would cost $4.41!
 2. Put your Christmas lights on a timer. Though small, Christmas lights can consume an exorbitant amount of energy. Replacing traditional holiday lights with LEDs and putting them on timers can help reduce the amount of money and energy spent on holiday cheer.
3. Turn back your thermostat. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees, but set it back during sleeping hours and when you are away from your home. The longer it is set back, the more you will save. Go even further and install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats enhance your home’s energy efficiency only when set and used properly, and as with most things in life, timing is everything. The idea is to run heating and cooling systems more conservatively when you’re not home, but to have them heat or cool the house to a comfortable level by the time you walk in the door. To realize significant energy savings you’ll need the flexibility to dial the system back by 5 to 10 degrees at least eight hours a day – when you’re at work, for example, or while you’re sleeping.
4. Block your fireplace damper. Santa can use the front door.
5. Keep cozy. Weather-strip and seal. Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows. Insulate or increase the amount of insulation in your attic, basement and outside walls. Also cover through-the-wall air conditioners to prevent cold air from leaking into your home.
6. Keep in mind – guests in the house add to energy use. Extra guests translate into extra water to heat for showers. You can expect extra guests to strain your water heater – folks often take longer showers in colder weather, increasing water-heating costs. Before guests arrive consider installing a low-flow showerhead to reduce the amount of water used, and try to keep showers dreamstimefree_3424775to six minutes or less.
7. Give the gift of Energy Star. Giving an Energy Star appliance is the right thing to do; it’s a great gift that saves money and is good for the environment. Major appliances account for 13 PERCENT of a home energy’s use, think of how it can add up, especially if your appliances are old and inefficient.
8. Ease stress, pay your bill online. Pay your bill with your checking account or credit card. With online bill pay, you can view your current and previous bills, View your payment history, sign up for paperless billing, and view your energy use.
9. Shop with the Co-op Connections Card! The Co-op Connections® program, a card-based benefit program for CCEC members, is designed to deliver added value to you, our member-owners. The program offers a variety of discounts at participating local and national businesses. Those businesses benefit from increased customer visits by Co-op members. The Co-op Connections card also gives members access to 10% to 60% savings on most prescriptions at over 60,000 independent pharmacies and national chains.* Check for the current list of participants offering discounts.
*Pharmacy discounts are not insurance, and are not intended as a substitute for insurance.
10. Unplug and turn-off. When possible, unplug electronics that are not being used, or plug them into a smart power strip. A smart power strip controls the flow of electricity to specific devices plugged into it. For example, it may cut the flow of electricity to unused devices such as DVD players, video game consoles, and stereo systems, while allowing TVs and satellite or cable boxes to remain operational.
11.Give yourself a Christmas present… go off-peak. Members can save money by participating in our off-peak programs which allow Cass County Electric to interrupt qualifying loads in exchange for lower electric rates. We do this to avoid high price wholesale energy purchases and to make more efficient use of our current power plant resources. In the end, participating members can save money on their electric bills. We have off-peak programs for grain sites, irrigation, residential and commercial members.
12. Put a surge protector on your Christmas wish list. Computers and other electronic equipment found in nearly every home and business are susceptible to surges in voltage. These surges may show up as minor voltage spikes, short power interruptions or current distortions that are difficult to find, even if you know where to look.

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