As homeowners across the country decorate for the holidays, holiday lights take center stage. They are used both indoors and outdoors, bringing a festive spirit to homes and entire neighborhoods. As the lights are strung on houses and trees, many homeowners assume their holiday lights won’t have much of an impact on their electric bill. But homeowners should count the costs in order to avoid an unwanted surprise on their next electric bill.
Impact of Holiday Lights
When viewed on a global scale, the energy consumption of Christmas lights in the U.S. is shocking—expending more energy than the entire country of El Salvador uses in an entire year. For further context, that’s enough electricity to power 14 million refrigerators.
When looking at the impact of holiday lights on individual homeowners, it varies greatly depending on geographic location. Today’s Homeowner conducted extensive research to help homeowners in each state understand the potential impact of their Christmas lights, based on the most popular decorations purchased from The Home Depot. These items are:
- 3-5 sets of hanging icicle lights 13.25 feet each
- 2 sets of string lights measuring just under 29 feet long
- 2 six-foot inflatable yard decorations
In 2022, the national average electric bill was $137. When running the typical holiday lights listed above from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, homeowners experienced a 12% increase in their electric bill. Their findings revealed that the greatest financial impact is felt primarily in the Northeast U.S. due to spiking electricity rates in those states. The top five most expensive states are Hawaii, with a 28% increase, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, with a 20% spike in their electric bills.
For homeowners who go above and beyond with their holiday lights, the increase is significant. Elaborate decorations using LED lights can cost an additional $47, while elaborate decorations using incandescent lights can skyrocket by $350.
Reducing Holiday Light Electricty Costs
Want to have a festive holiday season while also conserving energy and costs? Follow a couple of simple rules to make sure your next electric bill doesn’t show up with unwanted surprises:
- Know your lightbulbs – Incandescent light bulbs are much more expensive to use than LEDs.
- Use a timer – You’ll save considerable energy by programming your lights to turn on only during peak evening hours, and shutting off overnight and during the day.
Keeping Electric Costs Consistent During the Holidays
There is one way to keep your electric costs consistent Year round—even through the holiday season—and that’s with solar energy. With solar energy, the extra expense associated with Christmas lights doesn’t need to be a factor at all. If a solar battery is included with your system, it will store any excess electricity generated for later use—such as the holiday season. Or, if you have net metering associated with your solar energy system, your utility provider will give you a credit for extra electricity sent to the grid, making your extra cost from Christmas lights a non-issue when the season rolls around.
To learn more about solar energy and how it offers consistency to homeowners, contact Smart Green Solar. Considering solar? Use our Solar Savings Calculator to obtain a custom solar savings estimate for your home. We invite you to learn more about Smart Green Solar, our core values, and our unique approach–which has led to us becoming a leading full-service provider in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.