If you ask us, the best holiday gifts are the ones that keep giving long after the holiday season is over — and the best part is, it doesn’t have to be expensive to pull it off!
Whether it’s the gift of a culinary class where they can brush up on their skills or a charitable donation that continues to give back to a cause close to their heart, there are endless ways to gift with the intention of spreading joy far into the new year.
And our favorite way to achieve it? Helping them save on their energy bills! It might not sound like the *most* exciting gift, but the long-term rewards of a more energy-efficient home are guaranteed to make a huge difference year-round.
From weather-stripping against air leaks to devices that help manage their home with the touch of a finger, keep reading for our top gifting picks to help save the planet, and their wallet, all year long.
Smart plugs are a simple way to regulate home energy usage and save on electricity by turning outlets on and off, whether you’re at home or on-the-move. They take only minutes to set-up and make a great stocking stuffer for the eco-conscious home owner on your holiday shopping list!
While there are plenty of smart plug models on the market these days, our pick for the holiday season is the OhmConnect OhmPlug thanks to its easy-to-use energy monitoring capabilities. It's a highly intuitive smart plug option (making it a great choice for smart home newbies) and connects easily to smartphones (and OhmConnect!).
With simple scheduling and timer capabilities, it’s ideal for anyone looking to better track their energy consumption and avoid wasteful usage from lamps, fans, humidifiers, A/C units and other major appliances when they’re not in use. Plus, unlike other smart plugs, the OhmPlug doesn’t block adjacent power sockets, so there’s no need to sacrifice outlets for the sake of energy preservation.
Did you know that the average home spends over $2,000 annually on utility bills, and almost half of that goes to the heating and cooling systems that regulate our home’s temperature? Luckily, being a bit more mindful about the maintenance of your home’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system can go a long way in saving not only on energy, but money as well!
One way to do this? Make sure any furnace filters are functioning at their best.
Dirty furnace filters can carry a build-up of dust and dirt which slows down air flow causing HVAC systems to work harder to achieve their job of heating and cooling the home. It’s an invisible energy drainer but remembering to change out furnace filters every three months can make a huge impact! In fact, it’s estimated that regular updates can actually increase energy efficiency in the home by up to 15% — that’s a big difference when it comes to utility bills!
It may not be the flashiest present under the tree, but with the rising costs of home energy consumption a package of four new furnace filters is a pretty great way to help them start their new year off efficiently and reap the rewards of energy savings all year long — a win-win if you ask us!
Every smart home needs a control center and that’s exactly what the second-gen Nest Hub from Google provides. With just the tap of a finger - or a simple voice command - it’s easy to control thousands of compatible smart devices throughout the home from one central display.
While we admit this one may be a slightly pricier pick than some of the other ideas on this list, for the person who’s already set-up their home with smart plugs and thermostats, the Google Nest Hub is the perfect way to tie their efforts together in one convenient place. It’s the ultimate energy-saving gift for the person who’s already doing it all!
Whether they’re looking to set a calendar reminder, stream music or a favorite podcast, log a to-do list or control the thermostat and lighting throughout the home — the Google Nest Hub is the ultimate combination of entertainment, functionality and energy-efficiency.
One of our favorite features? The Energy Dashboard. It provides a daily, weekly and monthly breakdown of energy usage so users can easily pinpoint times of peak energy consumption and identify ways to adjust for better efficiency (and savings!) moving forward.
One of the quickest ways to cut down on electricity usage is by picking the right light bulbs. In fact, an easy switch from incandescent to LED lighting can mean an energy savings of over 75%!
These bulbs may cost a little more upfront, but the long-term savings are guaranteed to have anyone *lighting* up with joy when they see their electricity bill. Plus, LED bulbs provide the same amount of lighting as traditional incandescent bulbs, so there’s no compromise there, but they typically last 25% longer with an average lifespan of 10-15 years. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving!
OhmConnect Tip 💡 Opt for smart LED bulbs for the added bonus of allowing them to track and adjust their usage while on-the-go from their smart devices.
Air leakage around windows and doors can wreak havoc on energy bills, racking up additional costs as our HVAC systems work double-time to regulate temperatures and keep us comfortable.
Weather-stripping is a simple way to minimize air leaks, improve insulation and reduce the likelihood of heat loss within the home. The strips are typically self-adhesive, easy-to-install and can help homeowners save an average of $200 annually on heating and cooling fees!
Not to mention, there’s the added bonus of reducing noise pollution and minimizing the risk of dust, pollen and pests getting indoors.
Plus, did we mention the best part? It’s SUPER affordable. With most options coming in at under $20, it’s the perfect way to give the gift of energy savings without going over your holiday spending budget.
Okay, so we might be biased, but we couldn’t finish this list without mentioning one more of our favorite ways to save money by saving energy — us!
OhmConnect is a program that rewards you for using less energy in your home – not just during the holidays, but all year long. It’s free and easy to try and a great way to give back to the planet. Plus, it’s the perfect compliment to any of the gift ideas we mentioned above!
Whether you’re signing up yourself or referring a sustainably-minded friend or family member, sign-up today and start the new year with your best eco-friendly foot forward!