Christmas Lights – an Unexpected Expense

Christmas lights can be a beautiful sight, but how much does it really cost you to hang those twinkling lights, you may be surprised. Yes I know it’s February, but I am still paying for my Christmas light display. For the last three years I have prided myself with having one of the brightest Christmas displays in our neighborhood. Until recently I only thought about how I could make it bigger and better, now I am thinking of cutting it out entirely. I am starting to take a firmer stance on energy consumption, both for financial and environmental reasons and I created a graph of my energy consumption over the last two years.

electric_kwh

You probably can see the spike in power consumption in January, this is when I PAY for my light display, well technically I pay in February but it is for January’s consumption. Some people may say, “hey it is cold in January, that is just your heater”. Well I am on a Natural Gas Furnance, so that 1000kWh difference between January and February is all Christmas Cheer.  Electricity rates are right around .09 per kWh, so that extra 1000 kWh’s costs me around $90. I put my lights up the day after Thanksgiving and usually take them down right around New Years so I could estimate that my lights probably run me $150.00 in electricity costs each year. This all not including the time I spend putting the lights up and taking the lights down every year. That is a lot of time and money just for some twinkling lights, what are your thoughts, should I be a scrooge next year and keep them down? Do you pull a Griswold?

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