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The Holidays: A Tradition Of Overconsumption

As the weather gets colder and people once again rejoice with loved ones, the holidays are a time of embracing the comfort of home.  Fireplaces are brought back to life and heaters reignite; a cold reminder that the shoulder season has officially ended.  It’s the time of year when people tend to forget about energy usage, and focus on family.  While there is nothing wrong with this tradition, people often forget that this time of year is one of the best opportunities for holiday hosts to capitalize on energy savings at home.  

Overconsumption during the holidays does not only occur from eating four plates of mashed potatoes and gravy!  It’s also a result of the oven, food processor, kitchen fan, microwave, radio and multiple TV’s that may be on for multiple hours at once.  Not to mention the space heaters and lights that are usually kept on for guests. A few simple tips you can use to retain as much heat as possible inside the home include: 

  • Ensure the fireplace hood is closed when not in use
  • Seal any drafty cracks or exposed areas in or around window/frame
  • After using the oven, leave the door open to allow excess heat to escape into the kitchen

On a good note, data suggests that energy consumption on a national level decreases on November 26th, simply due to the fact that there are more people in fewer places at once.  While this is positive news, it emphasizes the role that hosts can play in making necessary adjustments to the home to lower midday spikes. 

“Not only are many commercial buildings and offices closed on Thanksgiving, lowering the overall level of electricity demand, but many households are partaking in holiday festivities including using ovens and other electric cooking equipment to prepare holiday feasts, leading to a particularly high morning-to-midday spike in electricity usage in most regions.” According to (EIA.gov, 2016)

Author: Owen Brubaker, Energy Advisor