Environment
4:45 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

How Much Will Your Electric Bill Be This Holiday Season?

Duke Energy is offering an improved tool to help consumers estimate their holiday lighting costs.

Energy officials say your power bill could increase up to $80 a month, depending on the type of light bulbs you use in your holiday lighting displays.
Energy officials say your power bill could increase up to $80 a month, depending on the type of light bulbs you use in your holiday lighting displays.
Credit Keri Brown

Duke Energy has offered the Holiday Lighting Calculator for a number of years. But there are a lot of new features to this year’s online calculator, including an energy rating that lets users know how efficient their lighting really is. Kristina Hill, a spokesperson for the company, explains how it works.

“What you do is choose between styles of LED bulbs, incandescent bulbs or both. Then enter the number of 100 bulb strands and the hours per day they will be on and the calculator does all of the work from there. It is an easy, fun tool and great resource for people to have as they try to estimate their lighting costs for this time of year,” says Hill.

For example, the company says 600 large incandescent bulbs plugged in six hours every evening can add up to $80 to a monthly power bill. In comparison, the same number of similar LED bulbs would increase a monthly power bill by about $7.00

Hill says the tool also provides energy saving tips for the holiday lighting season.

“Before you install lights, make sure each set of lights are checked for loose sockets or bare/frayed wires. One thing that people may not think about after their displays and trees are set up is that it is really important to dust your light bulbs because a dirty bulb will absorb light and also waste energy,” says Hill.

Another holiday lighting reminder: never using more than three standard-sized sets of lights per extension cord.

Tags: