How to lower your electric bill during the holiday season

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — We love seeing holiday lights across Connecticut, but what is that display doing to your electric bill? There are some things you can do to save energy while still keeping things merry and bright.

To find out how to save some money on your holiday energy bills, News 8 went to the Energize CT Center in North Haven. It’s a joint venture between UI and Eversource dedicated to educating people about ways to save energy. Even if you’re just lighting a 6-foot tree for 40 days, the cost can still add up.

“If I use traditional incadescent lights, it’s about $10,” said Lisa Sarubbi of United Illuminating.

To illustrate the point, Sarubbi hooked up a set of LED bulbs and a set on incandescent bulbs to an electric meter. When she switched the LED bulbs on, the meter barely moved. However, when she switched on the incandescent set, the meters started to noticeably move.

“So you can see how much more energy these lights are using,” Sarubbi said. “You can also feel the heat coming off of them, so they’re that inefficient. the LED lights are 70 percent more efficient and they last 10 times longer.”

Hot bulbs can burn skin when touched, and if they are in contact with holiday trees or wreaths, could possible ignite the evergeen and start a fire.

LED lights do cost more, but instead of $10 to power that 6-foot tree for 40 days, it will only cost 27 cents.

Since LED lights use less power, you can also string many more of them together in series. Most incandescent light sets warn you to only string 3-9 sets in a row, but on a box of LED lights at the Energize CT center, the directions said 45 could go back to back, providing more than 3,000 lights on one string. Sarubbi also recommended using a timer on your holiday lights to help save on energy costs.

Whether you are turning on big lights, little lights, or electric candles, look at that box and make sure it has the energy star logo on it. Also, put all those lights on a timer.

“You can set it to have it turn on your lights as soon as it gets dark out, and turn off after you go to bed. That way you’re not paying that extra electric cost,” said Sarubbi.

Because what’s the use of powering that amazing light show all night, if no one is around to see it? For more tips on saving energy you can visit the Energize CT center online.

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