The holiday season is quickly approaching, and Sunnova would like to remind you about the “seasonal spike.”
Just what exactly is a seasonal spike? It’s a temporary spike in your household electricity use, leading to a higher holiday energy bill.
Throughout November and December, you might be wondering, “Why is my electric bill so high?” Energy use tends to rise during the season of baking, holiday movie marathons and cooler temperatures. You may have family or friends visiting. You might spend all day cooking traditional meals. You’re decorating, hanging festive lights.
So, how do you lower your electric bill during the holidays? The first step is to become more energy efficient through your behaviors and lifestyle. Then, adding a home solar system can offset all or a portion of your electricity bill, allowing you to create clean, renewable energy right from your roof.
If you already have rooftop solar panels installed, congratulations! You may still see a (mild) seasonal spike in your energy costs, but it won’t be drastic enough to hinder your holiday cheer.
Here are some tips for lowering your electric bill this season.
Maximize the Energy of Your Household Appliances
Did you know the average U.S. household saves $500 a year on utility bills by switching to energy-efficient appliances?* However, household appliances are used more during the holidays, from extra loads of laundry to running the dishwater more frequently.
During gatherings, try using your toaster oven or your microwave for smaller cooking tasks. Save your oven for your biggest cooking tasks, and maximize your oven’s energy by baking or cooking several dishes at once. Keep in mind that it takes the same amount of energy to heat an entire oven as it does a nearly empty one.
You can also apply this energy-saving technique to your washer and dryer. It takes the same amount of energy to run a partial load of laundry as it takes to run a full load, so consider doing laundry only once or twice a week.* Be sure to fill your loads to capacity and select low heat for drying – this will help improve your energy conservation.
Another tip is to fill your dishwater to its full capacity before you run it, and pick a wash cycle that uses low or no heat. Also, getting into the habit of turning off lights in unoccupied rooms and setting thermostats to moderate temperatures overnight will not only help you save on your holiday energy bill, but during the rest of the year as well.
Holiday Lights: Just the Facts
Did you know that switching to LEDs can drastically boost your energy conservation? It’s true. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED holiday lights use roughly 75 percent less energy, and can last 25 times as long as incandescent bulbs.* They also don't require a ton of maintenance and they never burn out (they’ll just get dimmer over time). So, before you start decorating, consider investing in LED lights.
Already Have a Home Solar System? Here’s How to Minimize Your Energy Use
If you already have a home solar system, unless you have battery backup, your electricity is coming from the power grid after the sun goes down. One way to minimize your holiday energy bill is to shift as much electricity use as possible to the daytime. That includes everything from charging your laptops and mobile devices to doing the laundry and preparing meals before evening.
You may live in a utility district (such as in California), where you are charged more for electricity during peak times, known as time of use (TOU) rates.* If so, you want to be mindful to use solar during times when energy demand is the highest, typically between 4pm and 9pm.
If your energy bill seems unusually high even with rooftop solar panels, contact Sunnova today. We can check to see if your home solar system is sized appropriately and make recommendations to improve your solar production. And on behalf of Sunnova, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season.