There’s no doubt that 2020 — and the past nine months in particular — have been very difficult for all of us. Working from home has become the norm, dining out is more likely to involve a take-out bag than a table, and donning a mask is a prerequisite for going out.
The mission to stay together by staying apart has been a real struggle, and we know that this will only be more challenging during the holiday season. Those big family gatherings that we waited all year for are canceled, and the holiday parties that we’re so accustomed to this time of year just can’t happen. It’s more important than ever that we find the joy in the season, even if it looks different than year’s past.
In that spirit, we offer these energy saving tips and some great holiday energy gift ideas to make the holidays a little brighter:
Buy energy smart tech. If you’re thinking of purchasing a computer or television for someone on your list, make it an energy smart choice. Choosing a laptop over a desktop computer can save you big on energy. Laptops use 75% to 90% less energy than a desktop. Also look for the ENERGY STAR label when shopping for technology. ENERGY STAR-labeled computers can use as much as 70% less electricity and television use about 30% less energy than standard units.
Use strings of LED holiday lights. Before you clatter up that ladder and string up those tired, old holiday lights, buy some LED holiday lights. LED holiday lights use 75% less energy than conventional incandescent strands. They also last up to 10 times longer, reduce the risk of fire and are more durable than the old incandescent bulbs of the past.
Save energy while cooking. No doubt you’ll be spending a significant amount of time in the kitchen this holiday season. Use these tips to save energy while cooking that ham and mashed potatoes.
■ Use flat-bottom pans for best contact with heat and tight-fitting lids to keep the steam in the pan.
■ Use a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot to use far less energy than ordinary pots and pans.
■ Use less water for cooking and the lowest possible heat to maintain boiling or steaming.
Get an electric vehicle charger rebate. We’ve all seen those commercials where the spouse covers the eyes of their significant other and walks them out to the driveway to reveal — ta-da! — a brand new car with a big red bow on top. Well, it’s 2020, so that means that car is likely an electric one and the PUD has the perfect gift pairing idea: a connected charger! The PUD is offering $500 instant rewards on select L2 connected chargers, helping you save money and quickly charge your electric vehicle at the same time. To shop for L2 connected chargers, visit marketplace.snopud.com.
Support your neighbors. Finally, help bring some cheer to your neighbors in need this holiday season with a donation to Project PRIDE. Now more than ever, many in our communities could use some help. The PUD’s Project PRIDE provides one-time donations to those who need assistance paying their energy bill. Donations are tax-deductible and go directly to keeping the heat on for those who need it most. For more information or to submit a donation, visit www.snopud.com/projectpride.
Operating since 1949, Snohomish County PUD is a customer-owned, not-for-profit electric and water utility that serves more than 360,000 customers in Snohomish County and Camano Island. For more information on conservation programs, visit www.snopud.com.