Holiday Safety, Energy-Efficiency Tips from First Choice Power

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First Choice Power is offering tips to have a bright, safe, energy-efficient holiday season.

“Taking a few extra steps when purchasing your holiday lights means you can have bright lights and conserve energy,” said Brian Hayduk, president of First Choice Power.

It’s that time of year again. The ladders are out, and the holiday lights are up. The snow is beginning to fall as icicles line your roof. Your family gathers by the fire, celebrating the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But as fun as the holidays can be, the season isn’t just about enjoying time with your family and friends; it’s about keeping them safe, too. First Choice Power is offering tips to have a bright, safe, energy-efficient holiday season.

Safety Tips

  • Read the fine print. Ever heard of UL? That stands for Underwriters Laboratories. They’re the ones who test products for safety. Make sure any light set you purchase has been approved by them by locating a UL mark on the product label, which guarantees that representative samples of the product have been tested for safety.
  • Don’t push it. Do not overload electrical circuits with extension cords filled with tree lights, lamps, appliances and electrical equipment. That can cause a fire, and no one wants that.
  • Check it out. Check light sets for frayed wires, damaged sockets or cracked insulation. If you find defects, replace the entire set, or you may end up needing to replace much more.
  • Unplug it. If using a natural tree, unplug indoor tree lights before watering the tree, and turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed. Hot bulbs can ignite dry branches and other flammable decorations. Avoid fire by keeping your tree well watered and keeping extension cords and light sets away from the water.
  • Think about it. If you’re using regular lights this year, chances are they’re not LED lights. You may want to consider a switch. Why? In contrast to most light sources, LED lights radiate only a small amount of heat, significantly lowering the chances of household items catching on fire.

Energy-Efficiency Holiday Lighting Tips

  • Watch the clock. You can reduce your energy use by running your lights on a timer pre-set for three to five hours. Operate lights for no more than six evening hours a day to keep energy use and costs manageable. For customers without a timer, switch off the lights when you go to bed.
  • Size matters. Large, traditional bulbs (may be labeled C-7 or C-9) use four to10 watts per bulb. Mini-lights use about four-tenths of a watt (0.4 Watt) per bulb. New LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights use only four one-hundredths of a watt (0.04 Watt). Consider using energy-saving LED holiday lights, which use about 99 percent less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last as many as 100,000 hours when used indoors.
  • Do the math. For each compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb you substitute for an incandescent bulb in your home, you can afford to light a string of 100 mini-lights and still save energy, money and the environment. During the next year, that CFL will save five times the energy of the light string.

“Taking a few extra steps when purchasing your holiday lights means you can have bright lights and conserve energy,” said Brian Hayduk, president of First Choice Power. “Many are already spending extra money during the holidays, and the tips provided can help out any consumer.”

Want more energy-saving tips? Visit http://www.FirstChoicePower.com/tips.
First Choice Power wishes its customers a safe and happy holiday season.

About First Choice Power
Based in Las Colinas, Texas, First Choice Power is one of Texas' largest retail electric providers. It is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an investor-owned energy holding company. For more information, visit http://www.FirstChoicePower.com.

PUCT REP Certification No. 10008 | First Choice Power Special Purpose, L.P.

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Catherine Carlton
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