The first summer holiday is here - and fun in the sun, BBQs, and great family getaways are on everyone's mind. So how do we have all of the excess fun with energy efficiency in mind?

Chances are you will be spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen. Keeping your window and door seals tight, limiting preheating of ovens, and using meat thermometers are all ways to keep appliance running times to a minimum, including your air conditioning.

If you’re  traveling on this holiday, we also recommend you check out Energy Saver's Consumer Guide to Fuel Economy fact sheet for energy efficient driving tips. Long trips can require hefty gas refills, so using the air conditioning and accelerating only when necessary are a couple easy ways to up the MPGs.

Before you have the entire neighborhood over for your barbecue, consider these few landscaping tips to help keep your home cool and bills to the minimum. Setting up that patio umbrella in a way that shades your home and your friends is a great way to keep everyone cool. In addition, watering your plants in the morning is more efficient in terms of water use. Cooler the weather, lower the evaporation rate. For more helpful tips, check out our Energy Saver 101 Landscaping infographic.

Some other options for your Memorial Day party guests cool are energy efficient-window treatments and window awnings. Window treatments can keep the boiling summer heat out and the sunlight still shining through.  Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows. Read some more quick energy facts and tips.