Christmas is a season of cheer, gift-giving, and significant energy consumption. Between appliances that work overtime and lights that power up trees, roofs, and lawns, many homeowners find that their utility bills spike over the holidays.
In the last couple of decades, one eco-friendly solution has emerged as a way to keep costs down. Over a million American homeowners are now using solar power to light up their living spaces, prepare elaborate meals, and even heat up swimming pools.
In this blog, we explain the benefits of having solar over Christmas, including its impact on your wallet and the planet.
Read on for some solid reasons to make the switch to solar this year.
High initial investments are the biggest barrier to solar panel installation in California. However, using solar power has proven to be more cost-effective in the long run than simply relying on the local grid.
Solar installations significantly reduce monthly utility bills. Various tax credits and solar panel rebates have also lowered initial costs associated with equipment and installation. And, over time, excess energy can be sold back to the grid, further reducing your solar panel payback period.
A solar panel cost calculator can help you determine how long it will take to recover this initial investment. It can also help you realize the benefits of using solar power during the holiday season, when entire families come together under the same roof and homes see a massive spike in energy use.
Here are some ways you can use solar to your advantage:
It’s no surprise that Americans love Christmas lights. Even the most conservative estimates suggested that the country used 3.5 billion kilowatt hours of energy in December 2020. During the same period, keeping Christmas lights blinking cost Americans $645 million, with each home paying an average of an additional $12 for utilities. In California, this figure was as high as $20.
This may not seem like a big difference at first. That is, until you consider that this also resulted in an extra two million tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.
While the use of LEDs has shown promise in bringing these numbers down, the best way to keep the lights on without burning a hole in your wallet is by using solar power.
In recent years, solar-powered lights have gone through a mini-revolution, with remote-controlled solar lights and solar projectors becoming popular options for homeowners pursuing more sustainable lifestyles. Solar-powered globe lights can be used to provide a soft ambient glow to line driveways, while color-changing lights offer a variety of festive hues.
Clearly, using solar over Christmas doesn’t mean compromising on quality. It simply allows you to save on energy bills and lower your carbon footprint.
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a feast. Every holiday, the use of kitchen appliances increases significantly, as family members gather for grand dinners. And the energy needed to power all these appliances—often used simultaneously—compounds already high utility bills.
When refrigerators, ovens, toasters, microwaves, blenders, and stoves are used all at once, augmenting your energy using solar power can significantly bring down costs.
As the holidays approach, the temperature also dips, leading to high heating costs. In 2022, natural gas bills across the country jumped by 28%, heating oil bills went up 27%, and energy bills were 10% higher. This is expected to rise further in 2023 and beyond as utility prices increase across the board.
Using solar power for heating systems is very beneficial. Active solar heating systems use energy from the sun to heat interior spaces or store it for later use. Heating your home with such a system keeps fuel bills low and offsets the air pollution and greenhouse gases generated by expensive fossil fuels.
But these aren’t the only benefits of using solar over Christmas.
Many homeowners have also been using solar power as a cost-effective way to heat swimming pools! That’s right—before you put your swim gear away for winter, you could consider hooking a solar panel to a pump to keep your pool warm and toasty.
Using an electric heating system for this purpose could add an extra $200 to your grid-powered utility bills. Using solar power, on the other hand, is free.
With many family members home for the holidays, the kitchen isn’t the only place where appliances work overtime. Laptops, TVs, and home entertainment systems, all contribute to larger utility expenses. Using solar power to keep these appliances running keeps bills and carbon footprints low.
One of the biggest misconceptions associated with using solar over Christmas is that it is too cold for solar energy. However, cold weather is not an issue for an efficient solar system.
Panels do not rely on heat but sunlight to power homes. That means, even on days when the temperature is below freezing, just a few hours of sunlight is enough to keep appliances and light fixtures running.
In fact, solar panels are said to run more efficiently in cold climates.
Additionally, newer technology has enabled panels to draw significant amounts of energy, even during rainstorms or when there aren’t enough hours of sunlight.
When a system is equipped with an extra battery, homeowners can use solar to power Christmas lights for up to 14 days.
As we’ve seen, using solar power has many benefits during the holiday season. We urge you not to worry about the high initial solar panel costs, as the monthly savings and the reduction in carbon footprint more than make up for this investment.
This holiday season, don’t hesitate to compare solar companies and make the switch. Schedule a consultation with AMECO, a leading solar company in California, and we’ll help you make the most of the benefits of having solar over Christmas!