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Don’t let those decorations leave you crying “Bah humbug!”

Don’t let those decorations leave you crying “Bah humbug!”

by | Oct 26, 2016 | 87 comments

How much can I expect my energy bill to go up in December with all the holiday decorations?

Asked by: Rebecca P., Sarasota

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Hi Rebecca, as we approach the holiday season, it’s definitely a good idea to understand how much your decorations may impact your energy usage and bill. A number of things will influence your energy bill, such as how elaborate of a display you have, and the number of lights and choice of bulbs – incandescent or LED.

Did you know that a 100-count string of incandescent mini lights runs at 40 watts, while a 70-count of 5mm LEDs is approximately 4.8 watts total? That means that the cost to power incandescent lights can be up to 90-times greater than powering LEDs. And, LED lights use about one-tenth the energy of old-fashion incandescent lights. Now, it’s true that LEDs are more costly upfront, but they may actually save you money in the long run. However, I wouldn’t recommend getting rid of all your incandescent lights all at once; wait until they don’t work anymore and then upgrade to LEDs. Unless of course, you’re interested in decking your halls like Clark Griswold, then I would definitely recommend using LEDs.

Calculate your holiday lighting energy usage
To find out the total watts you’ll be using, see the calculations below for a quick estimate:

  • Watts per bulb x number of bulbs on the string = total watts per string
  • Multiple total watts per string x how many strings of lights = total watts

Once you have an idea about many total watts you’ll be using:

  1. Multiply total watts by 0.001 to find the kilo-watt hour (kwh) = kwh
  2. Multiply kwh by 5 hours a day to find kwh per day = kwh/day
  3. Multiply kwh/day by 30 days = kwh/month
  4. Multiply kwh/month by the current FPL cost per kilo-watt of .113 cents = ESTIMATED COST

Now, that’s your cost based running your holiday display five hours per day for 30 days. Of course, you can control this cost by when you choose to put up your lights, how many strings you use and how long you have them on each evening is up to you and your budget. But, at least you can estimate how much it may add to your bill.

Have you ever wanted to put a giant inflatable reindeer or snowman in your yard?
As for those fun inflatable decorations that have become very popular in recent years, typical inflatables can cost anywhere from $2 – $9 a month, depending on the size, whether it’s animated or not, and how long you have it inflated each day.

Easy tips to help you save:

  1. Buy LEDs – they are more expensive up front, but you’ll save on energy costs in the future. Plus, they don’t radiate heat like incandescent bulbs, making them safer to people and other potentially combustible decorations.
  2. Use automatic timers –to ensure you’re running the lights or inflatable’s for a defined time period each day – fewer hours means less energy used.
  3. Use extension cords – instead of using light strings to add length to your display, utilize extension cords in less visible areas
  4. Be creative – supplement your holiday displays with ornaments such as wreaths, ribbons and other decorations that don’t consume energy.

And most importantly, enjoy the holidays!

About The Author

Tiffany Spence

Tiffany Spence is an energy expert at Florida Power & Light Company. She's conducted thousands of energy audits at homes and businesses, helping customers find new ways to make their bills even lower.

87 Comments

  1. Hello, Im about to move to FL and need to start a FPL service at my apartment. I had a account once before but I cant remember; How much would is cost to start a new service at your home under personal name not business? Is there a deposit if so. what is it?

    Reply
  2. Why has my energy bill increased when I’ve been out of town most of January, and basically the only thing using electric power is the fridge. I don’t cook and when I’m in town I only come home to sleep.

    Thanks

    Reply
  3. Can I set up to have a whole house surge protector installed

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  4. Hi FPL. Do you have a lightning protection program? One where my major appliances are protected from major surges in power? Looking for something beyond a simple surge protector. With GreyStone power in Atlanta the company installed high volume fuses on my meter box, supplied surge protectors to my major appliances, and guaranteed up to $20k any damage caused by a lightning strike.

    Just wondering if you might have a program like that I can review? Many Thanks.

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  5. About how much is the electrical cost for charging a Dust Devil small vacuum on a continuing basis?

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  6. Does FPL still offer rebates for residential heat reduction window tinting? I’m getting all my town house windows and doors tinted with UV and heat reduction Solar Guard window film on February 4, 2017, and wanted to regisiter now with FPL for the rebate, which I think is $1/sq. foot of window surface. Please advise and send forms or correct FPL link. Thank you!

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  7. Would like to know how I can get FPL in my house. LCEC is costing me to much in my electric bills and also been changing rates and rules in their company. MY father is in a fix income and can not be paying 250.00 to 350.00 dollars a month. Please send me an Email if you service NW Cape coral area. Thank you .

    Reply
  8. FPL should provide Solar Panels as lease to own service for home owners, this would be a big step to help our environment. Instead of FPL building Solar Panel “farms” you could provide this service to home owners. Any extra energy can be put back on the grid for individuals without solar could benefit and reduce our overall dependency on fossil fuels. This is just an idea that should be considered.

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  9. why on weekend (sat&sun) I use more electricity than during the week? Sometimes on weekend I am not even at home and it still is higher than during the week. Is the rate on weekend higher?

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  10. Why are you holding $190.00 deposit. my bill has never been over $42.00
    what part of 2 months is different to you and me

    Reply

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