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Energy costs: Practical advice to help you and your family this Christmas

A national campaign is underway encouraging people to “reduce your use” over the winter months while staying warm and well.

TEMPERATURES HAVE INCREASED and the recent cold snap is behind us, but energy costs are continuing to affect households across the country and it’s important for us all to stay warm and well this winter. The Government has introduced a range of supports and by now, you should have received a booklet containing expert advice on how to reduce energy use. The booklet is part of a national campaign urging people to “reduce your use” over the winter months and has been delivered to over two million households. 

Along with raising awareness around supports available, it’s important to know some practical advice on reducing your energy use this winter. There’s a lot that people can do to reduce their energy use, and although it may not seem like much, with small changes in habitual behaviour we’ll all see positive results in the long run! 

Electrical consumption during Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it’s also an incredibly consumptive time of year – what with lights, TV specials, cooking the turkey (arguably the most important part) and in general just trying to stay warm! That being said, there are way that you can save energy around this time of year, so don’t worry about the turkey just yet! 


Save energy while decorating our houses

We all want a winter wonderland to share with our loved ones this festive season, but don’t forget there are plenty of ways that we can save energy while decorating our homes for Christmas, check out our top tips below: 

  • Switch to LED Christmas lights, the LED can be 7 times more efficient than old incandescent light.
  • Use fibre optic decorations and trees.
  • Use a timer to automatically switch off lights in the early morning.
  • Use solar lights for outside decorations.
  • Use battery operated lights.
  • Choose a string with fewer bulbs.
  • Do not leave lights ON when you are out.

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Save energy while cooking

We meant it when we said the turkey was arguably the most important part of the festive season, so don’t worry we won’t tell you to microwave your bird! What we will do, is outline some recommendations that can make a massive difference when it comes to saving energy while cooking. Every little helps when it comes to energy costs:

  • Prep and plan your menu, cooking preferences and times to minimise using multiple appliances.
  • Consider defrosting some foods overnight e.g. turkey. It can take up to 24 hours for every 2-2.5kg of turkey to defrost so we would always recommend giving yourself enough time to ensure it’s fully defrosted; a 7kg frozen turkey could take up to three days. Frozen poultry or meat should always be defrosted on the bottom shelf of your fridge, in a dish or tray to catch any liquids.
  • Consider using a roasting bag for your meat as they can speed up cooking times if used correctly. Always check that meat & poultry are fully cooked before serving.
  • Turn the heating down in the kitchen when you’re cooking, warmth will be given off from your oven and all those sprouts you’re boiling.
  • Cook multiple things at one time to get efficient use from your oven. Remember that multiple items may take longer to cook depending on how full your oven is.
  • Match up your trays, pots and pans to the food that you are cooking.
  • Large pans take more energy to heat: Use the right saucepans for your Christmas dinner. Boil water in your kettle first. Heating cold water on the hob takes longer.
  • Grill rather than bake: Grills use less energy than the entire oven.
  • Turn off the oven early: Turn it off a few minutes before the food’s finished cooking. The oven temperature will remain the same so the food will still cook without the oven using more energy. Always check that turkey and other meats are fully cooked before serving. Avoid repeated opening and closing of the oven door as that allows heat to escape.
  • Keep hob clean: Food that sticks to the hob rings will make them less efficient.

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Practical advice and more information on supports available can be found at gov.ie/ReduceYourUse.