The holiday season can be one of the most enjoyable, yet expensive, times of the year.
But thanks to the U.S. energy revolution, Americans can plan on keeping a few more hard-earned dollars in their wallets heading into the new year.
That’s because consumers are paying the lowest gas prices we’ve seen in seven years. As such, more than 100 million Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, which would be a record high. An overwhelming 90 percent will travel via road, which equates to roughly 1 in 3 U.S. drivers.
According to AAA, Jan. 1 will also welcome the lowest national average for a gallon of regular gas on New Year’s Day since 2009. The average on Dec. 18 was already $2.004, and experts project that it could drop below the $2 benchmark by the end of the holidays.
Twenty-six states the week before Christmas were already reaping the rewards of a statewide average lower than $2 per gallon. The average price of gas is also down significantly in every state compared to the same time a year ago. In fact, 42 states are saving 50 cents or more per gallon.
This means that the projected 500 miles the average American will travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3 will be far cheaper this year than it was in 2014, according to estimates by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA). In alignment, November estimations from Gallup show that the average American will spend $830 on gifts this year, up from $720 last year.
But low fuel prices are just one of many ways rising energy production is saving consumers money. It’s also helping cut winter heating and electricity costs stemming from electronic holiday decorations.
According to Forbes, the average six-foot Christmas tree – when lit up for 12 hours per day for 40 days –will cost:
- 27 cents if equipped with 50 C-9 LED Bulbs
- 82 cents if equipped with 200 LED mini-lights
- $2.74 if equipped with 200 Incandescent mini-lights
- $10 if equipped with 50 Incandescent C-9 bulbs
Here’s some more good news: There are several other ways that consumers can cut down on energy costs and have more money to spend on gifts for loved ones.
Here are some tips:
Here are a few tips on how to winterize your home and cut heating bills:
- Allow sunlight to naturally heat your home by opening curtains on your south-facing windows during the day, and then close them at night.
- Seal the air leaks around pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
- Make sure the damper is closed when the fireplace is not in use or open for Santa’s Christmas Eve visit
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, which could save about 10 percent annually on your heating and cooling costs.
- Turn down water heater temperature to the warm setting (about 120 degrees Fahrenheit); water heating accounts for 14 percent to 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home.
CEA also has a few pointers on how to save on overall energy costs:
- Limit or reduce the amount of time lights are on
- Turn off room lights when the tree is lit
- Turn the thermostat down when you have guests
These are just a few helpful tips that can help limit energy costs throughout the holidays and winter season. We hope you find them useful and that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday filled with low energy and fuel costs!