Controlling your use
In Part 2 of our three-part series "Switch On your house for Christmas", we look at how you can control your electricity use to keep your costs down.
Following his bill spike last year and information he saw on television about the impact Christmas decorations have on electricity bills, Heath has taken a number of steps to control his electricity use.
"I'm conscious about how much power the decorations that run from the mains use so I make sure they are all connected to one power point. This enables me to keep control of my use because when I turn that one switch off I know they are all off – this way I don't forget, which is what I used to do!"
"The great thing about solar Christmas decorations is I don't have to worry about controlling their electricity usage. The solar panels that come with the decorations charge up throughout the day and the electricity is stored to use in the evening. I was a little worried before buying that they might run out in the evening before I turn them off at night but they always have enough to go late into the night."
"This year I am putting up all the solar lights on the 1st of December, but I won't put out the mains decorations until a week later as they cost me money. I also only put the lights on for around 4 hours every evening between sunset and bedtime. The only time I’ll have them on all day will be Christmas Eve and Christmas Day."
"Powering his lights through a particular power point is a good way to keep track of the electricity they’re using. Turning appliances off at the switch ensures they are not using any power at all when you don’t want them to."
"An electrical timer is a good option to limit the electricity used by your lights. These timers are readily available at hardware stores, and many cost less than $20. Heath could program his automatic timer to turn the lights on at sunset and off a few hours later, without needing to remember to manually do it himself. Some timers are mobile phone compatible, allowing you to switch lights on and off via your mobile phone, wherever you are."
"As Heath is doing, you can also save your use of lights for the days closest to Christmas or for special events like an end of year party."
"Move from Santa's naughty to good list this holiday season by using an automatic timer to reduce running costs.”