With the festive season getting into full swing, it's a time of celebration and catching up with friends and family. But it can also be very cold outside and an expensive time of year, so we wanted to pass on some simple energy saving tips which landlords and tenants can use to help manage their bills this winter:

Christmas lighting

If you love Christmas lights, take a moment to think about how much they cost to run. The cost will be influenced by many factors including the size of your display, type of bulb and how long you have them on for. To minimise costs choose LED bulbs for any displays and switch them off when not in use.

TV time

Looking forward to watching TV and films over the holidays? Then you may be thinking about buying a new TV. New TVs use about 70% less energy in standby mode than ones bought before 2007. If you are buying a new one, look for A+ rated TVs and generally smaller TVs as they use less energy than larger ones.

Cook up a feast

At this time of year we often spend more time in the kitchen cooking delicious food. Some simple ways to save energy is to use the right sized pan for the job and use a lid. Your food will cook quicker and you will use less energy. If you do have left overs, make sure they have cooled down before putting them in the fridge.

Wash at 30

A busy household and lots of guests can mean more washing. Try keeping the temperature low and wash at 30 degrees: this uses around 40% less energy than washing at higher temperatures.

Switch off

If you are away on holiday over the festive period, remember to switch appliances off at the wall - turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby could save you around £30** a year on your bills each year.

More help from Home Energy Scotland

We hope you find these tips useful - for more energy saving advice visit the Energy Saving Trust website.

Funding update - 25% cashback for a limited period

If you're a landlord and are thinking of installing insulation or any other energy efficiency measures in your properties, then we thought you'd like to know about this funding:

Apply for an interest free loan and receive 25% of the cost as a cashback. This cashback funding is available for up to three rental properties. If you're interested in this funding we would encourage you to act soon, as it is subject to availability. Applicants must be able to complete works and claim funding by 10th March 2017 to benefit from this offer.

Call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 for more information and to apply.

*All savings based on an average electricity price of 13.86p/kWh. Correct as of March 2016 and valid for 2016. Assumes that the energy efficiency index (EEI) for a TV is 0.65 for the market average,0.8 for a poor performer and 0.2 for a good performer (A+rated) and that the TV is left on for 4.8 hours a day and standby for the remainder. Lifetime of 7.5 years.

**This saving includes all appliances, consumer electronics, lights and chargers that have been left on standby mode or have been left on and not in use.