Tis' the season for high electric bills. With the holiday season upon us, many decide to light up their homes to deepen their festive spirit, without thinking about what it could do to your monthly electric bill. But, with holiday cheer and décor come an increase in energy usage, including phantom loads, or wasted energy.
If Christmas enthusiasts light their decorations from 5pm to 11pm each day from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, here's how much your bill could jump per month, according to a Southern California Edison spokesperson:
- Average decorations with LED lights: $5 to $7 increase
- Average decorations with incandescent lights: $33 increase
- Elaborate decorations using LED lights: $47 increase
- Elaborate decorations using incandescent lights: $350 increase
So, what can you do to make sure your energy bill doesn't
1. Use Smart Plugs
Smart plugs are a great way to save on energy costs. By using them, you can assure that your light display is not constantly running. You may not want your lights to be on during the morning hours when it would be tough to see them or turned off before you head to bed. One great feature of smart plugs is that they can be set to a schedule so that you don't have to worry about wasted energy.
2. Opt for Solid Lights
Did you know that using lights that are constantly twinkling or color changing uses more power? By choosing solid lights, or setting them to just twinkle occasionally, this will help keep your electric bill from skyrocketing during the holiday season.
3. Use LED Lights Instead
LED lights tend to be more expensive, however they are a better cost option. LED lights use about 70% less electricity than incandescent lights and have a stronger durability of lasting up to 40 times longer. These also are not hot to the touch, so gone are the days of constantly burning your fingers with older lights.
4. Consider Non-lighted Decor
If you want to give your exterior an extra jolt of holiday spirit but don't want to see your electric bill increase, you could consider using other items to decorate. Wreaths, ribbons, or ornaments can give your home the festive feel without causing you to increase your monthly bill.