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Otter Tail Power Company suggests giving gift of energy savings

If you're wondering what to give this holiday season, consider gifts that save energy. Energy savings is a gift that keeps giving year round. Otter Tail Power Company offers these energy-saving gift ideas for the people on your list. For additional suggestions, visit the company's web site.

--LED desk or piano lamps - For students, musicians, and people with home offices, consider sleek and modern LED lamps designed for desk or piano. LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are highly efficient, long-life, cool-operating bulbs that provide bright task lighting at less than 10 watts.

--LED flashlights - Get the same benefits of LED lighting for handymen or outdoor enthusiasts with LED flashlights. High-tech designs use durable waterproof casings made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and strong LED bulbs capable of delivering bright 225 lumens in turbo mode.

--Smart power strips - Plug computers and home electronics into a single smart power strip so they can be turned on and off conveniently with one switch. Phantom energy users, such as digital displays, instant-on features, and battery chargers, continue to consume electricity even when they're in standby mode and can account for 5 percent to 10 percent of your home's electrical bill. Unplugging them is the most effective way to avoid wasting electricity. Savings add up when you power down.

--Personal radiant heaters - These radiant heaters use only 150 watts of electricity (compared with 1,500 watts used by typical space heaters). But placed nearby, they keep the user warm, allowing lower room temperatures. They also work great for warming bathrooms without raising the temperature in the entire house. These heaters are safe around children and pets. And at only 8 pounds, they're easy to move from room to room.

--Motion-detecting digital picture frames - Energy-saving digital picture frames turn themselves off automatically after not detecting motion for a period of time set by the user. Or turn off the motion-detection sensor and operate these frames by remote control.

Programmable thermostats - Users can program these thermostats to optimize energy savings to match their comfort levels and schedules. Heating and cooling are the biggest energy users in a typical home. Setting lower temperatures while the house is unoccupied or the occupants are asleep can save significantly on heating costs; likewise, setting higher temperatures while the house is unoccupied in the summer can reduce cooling costs.

--Compact fluorescent lightbulbs - You can brighten someone's holiday and increase the everyday lighting efficiency of their home--without sacrificing lighting quality--by helping them replace their incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Year-around, lighting can account for as much as 25 percent of a home's electrical use. CFLs cost a bit more than incandescent lightbulbs but last up to ten times longer and use up to 75 percent less energy. --Today's CFLs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and wattages and can be used in almost any conventional light socket or lamp. They offer light levels and color quality comparable to incandescent lighting.

Always look for the ENERGY STAR label when selecting electronic devices or appliances. They use significantly less energy than regular products that are not ENERGY STAR rated.

"And remember, whenever you select electrical products, make sure they bear labels indicating that they have been tested by independent agencies, such as Underwriters Laboratories," says Otter Tail Power Company Safety Services Manager Eric Hamm. "Electricity is a powerful tool. It also can be a lethal hazard. But the UL label, or label from another certifying agency, ensures good safety standards and helps prevent electrical hazards."

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit