My energy efficient letter to Santa


For over 55 years, Southwest Rural Electric Association has held the Youth Tour essay and speech contest for high school juniors in its 14-school service territory. Paige Orr was selected as SWRE’s Oklahoma winner for 2020 based off of her submission titled ‘My Energy Efficient Letter to Santa,’ earning her one of the two seats available on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. sponsored by SWRE. Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Youth Tour trip was cancelled in June. Orr was presented with a scholarship in lieu of the cancelled trip. Orr is a Senior at Frederick High School. Her English teacher is Mrs. Tari Espinosa.

SWRE is now accepting essays for the 2021 Youth Tour Contest through January 15, 2021. Visit for more information!”

Dear Santa,

I know you have not heard from me in a while, but you know better than anyone that life gets busy. I know many people do not believe in you or think you are real, but I believe that you will help me with my real requisite. This year for Christmas I want to make my house an energy efficient home. Now, I am not throwing this whole project on you, I know you are a busy man and I know there are steps I can take on my own. Although, I will be needing some assistance from you and your elves with the complex parts of the project.

As I stated earlier, there are many beneficial actions I can do on my own to help my home to be more energy efficient. I am already proficient at using the microwave instead of the stove. When I use the oven, I rarely peek inside because every peek causes the temperature to drop 25° Fahrenheit. Having said that, if your Christmas cookies are burned, I am sorry in advance. I need to have a talk with my mom about cranking the thermostat, just put it on the desired temperature and be patient. Does Mrs. Claus ever do that? I am sure she gets chilly at times up there at the North Pole.

It gets a little drafty in my house because I live in an older home. However, I believe my house has great potential to be an energy efficient home. I have an attic with nothing in it. It would be perfect to lay insulation on the floor which would help muffle the draft. My family has two refrigerators, an older one in the garage and a newer one in the house. I recently learned that having an old fridge in the garage, as well as one in the house also plugged in, can lessen the energy efficiency dramatically. It would be a win-win scenario if we used one refrigerator because a fridge works best when it is full.

I informed you earlier that I would need your assistance with the more elaborate parts of my scheme. This is my energy efficient wish list: double glazed windows, a large amount of fiber glass insulation, twenty packs of compact florescent light bulbs, top of the line solar panels, a couple of wind turbines and lastly a new outside lighting system that is motion activated. I know it is a lengthy list but honestly, this is the revised and shortened version. My home is in desperate need of an energy efficient Christmas miracle. I whole heartedly believe that no task is too large for you and your team.

I know you have a lot of letters to read so I am going to wrap this up. Speaking of wrapping things up, you do not have to worry about gift wrapping my energy efficient presents. I would hate to be a bother. Also, do not feel as if you have to check every item off my list, but if you could, that would be phenomenal. Anyway, I know you and your elves keep up with the trends, so I am sure your workshop is extremely high tech, as well as highly energy efficient. Therefore, I have full confidence in the production, but when it comes to the shipping, could you try and take smoother turns with the sleigh? I do not want my energy efficient presents to get tattered or dented. I heard this horrible rumor that one of your reindeer ran over someone’s grandma. Is there any truth to that? Even if there is, try not to run over anyone with my presents on board please. I believe in you Santa, please do not let me down. Thank you in advance, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas!

Frugally yours,

Paige Orr


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