Written by Veronika Vigliano

Preventing Huge Holiday Electric Bills

As the holiday season is fast approaching, with thanksgiving already in the shadows; a lot of people are preparing to set up their Christmas decorations. Decoration are an excellent way to get into the holiday spirit and spread cheer, but can also be a means of increasing your electric bill. Your electric bills begin to soar as your Christmas trees and lights are plugged in. The amount of increased in your bill is dependent on the kind of lighting you choose and how you use them. Taking note of the additional usage can help you prevent a budget breaking bill in a season that’s known to break the budget. You can help but ask, how do you manage your electricity this holiday season?

In a means to reduce the electricity consumption and keep the bills at a minimum, a lot of people will substitute a lamp or a light for a Christmas tree. Although the lighting may not be bright, the mood, however is more seasonal. The question therefore becomes how does your Christmas tree compare to a regular lamp? What additional cost are you paying for?  The answers to these questions varies for multiple items. Do have standard bulbs or LED lights on your Christmas tree? How many strands of lights is on your Christmas tree? Another item to factor in as regards to electricity bills are fireplaces. Getting firewood is not the only cost attached to having a fireplace; an opened flue can result in the same amount of heat loss as an open window.  Having a fire in the fireplace, with the Christmas tree lit and some music playing can make for a beautiful ambience, but the mood won’t be so tranquil when the bill comes in.

Replacing your Christmas lights with LED, ensuring the flue is closed after every fire and playing, music when it’s being listened to and not just as a background music all day can greatly reduce your electric bill. You may also want to consider Christmas light rationing. You can turn off some light that would have rather been left on all day or put them on a switch. Becoming aware of the amount of energy your Christmas decorations are consuming can be incentivized into making sure all lights are turned off, music is not always playing and the flue is shut.

The use of the home energy monitor, you can see exactly how much energy you are currently consuming in your home. This helps prevent the unpleasant surprise of an increased electricity bill. If your Christmas tree is consuming too much electricity, you may want to consider lessening the amount of bulbs, or a switch to LED lights if you have not already.  If you plan on substituting the tree for a lamp, be sure to use the home energy monitor to check if this is a fair trade off. You may find out that your tree is used more than the lamp and yet is not supplying close to the amount of illumination. Being able to measure the exact amount of money the lights are costing you will offer you the encouragement needed to cut back on the usage.

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