With the holiday season upon us, now’s a good time to consider giving yourself the gift of energy savings. The beauty of this gift is it is good for the environment, lasts for years, never goes out of style, and saves you money in the long run. Here are 12 gift ideas for you:

  1. LED Lighting Decorations ― Replace old and inefficient incandescent holiday lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lights. While they may cost a bit more than light strings of incandescent bulbs, LED lighting uses substantially less electricity but emits brighter light, and they are more durable and longer lasting. According to the S. Energy Department, 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket.
  2. Timers ― Plug your holiday lighting decorations into timers to automatically switch them on and off. There are a variety on the market ― some more sophisticated than others ― but an inexpensive, plug-in mechanical timer is easy to install and use.
  3. Use “Other” Kinds of Decorations ― Brighten up the holiday mood with decorations that don’t use electricity. Diversify your holiday décor with reflective holiday bulbs, live plants (e.g., Poinsettia, Amaryllis), wreaths, garland, potpourri and other non-electric ornamentals.
  4. Rechargeable Batteries ― They’re more economical to use, create less waste and last much longer than single-use batteries. Check out this blog on the product review website Wirecutter for recommendations on AA and AAA rechargeable batteries.
  5. Surge Protectors ― Plugging multiple electronics, gadgets and lights into a single power strip? Of course you are. But if it’s not a surge protector (or suppressor) your devices are vulnerable to spikes in power caused by severe weather or other factors.
  6. Smart or Programmable Thermostat ― It allows you to set comfortable temperatures while you’re home and minimize heating or cooling when you’re not.
  7. Weatherproof Windows ― To make windows more resistant to heat or cold, use weather strips and/or caulk on the trim. Film window coverings also help improve efficiency and qualify for an OUC rebate. If want to splurge on a big gift to yourself, buy Energy Star® windows and get an OUC rebate.
  8. Home Energy Audit ― Find out how you could improve the energy efficiency of your home with a free OUC Efficiency Delivered This program also offers a variety of rebates on upgrades that reduce energy use.
  9. Add Ceiling Insulation ― Increasing your attic insulation to R-30 or higher will reduce energy loss and OUC can help you do it through Efficiency Delivered. This improvement is eligible for a rebate of 10 cents per square foot. Click here to check out our list of preferred insulation contractors.
  10. Upgrade Heat Pump/AC ― If you’re heating and cooling your home with an old HVAC system then you’re throwing money out the window. Upgrade to a heat pump rated 15 SEER or higher and you may qualify for a rebate.
  11. Give Green ― Gifts, that is. Shop for Energy Star® appliances and electronics, and products made from sustainable practices.
  12. Electric Blanket ― You won’t need to turn up the heat at bedtime with an electric blanket.