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Friday, November 23, 2018

Xcel Energy offers lighting tips for the holiday season

EAU CLAIRE (Nov. 20, 2018) – For many people, once the turkey leftovers have been put away it’s time to start decorating for the rest of the holiday season and Xcel Energy has tips on how to do it safely and without breaking the bank. 
 
Depending on the type and number of lights used for the holidays, customers can see savings anywhere from $1 to more than $100 a month based on current Wisconsin electric rates. For example, customers using only one strand of 100 LED mini-lights for five hours a day, will realize savings of $1.11 a month per strand, when compared to a strand of incandescent bulbs. One strand of 25 LED standard C7 lights used for five hours will save $3.89 per month, while one strand of 25 LED standard C9 lights can save $5.87 (savings can vary depending on which manufacturer consumers use).
 
Most people use multiple strands of holiday lights for up to two months during the holiday season and the cost savings can be much higher. The savings on a 15 strand of LED mini-lights used for five hours a day comes to more than $16 a month; 15 strands of LED standard C7 lights will save nearly $60 a month, while the savings on 15 strands of LED standard C9 lights can be about $90 a month.
 
Included with this news release is a spreadsheet for calculating energy savings from efficient holiday lightings, for the most common types of lighting used.
 
Always practice safety when decorating
Here are safety tips for hanging holiday lighting:
  • Use electricity safely and wisely. Plan decorating and lighting ahead of time to reduce potential safety hazards.
  • Use only Underwriters' Laboratory-approved lights, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for indoor and outdoor lighting.
  • Before placing holiday lights outside on homes or trees, look up to locate any overhead power lines, then keep all objects such as ladders and extension poles more than 10 feet away. Never toss lights near or across an overhead power line.
  • Check the cords on strings of lights and replace any that are frayed or worn. Discard all that are in poor condition. Also, check for loose connections and damaged plugs or light sockets.
  • Plug in lights before stringing them to determine whether any bulbs are burned out.
  • Unplug lights before hanging them, and unplug them when asleep or away from home
  • Avoid attaching too many light strings together and plugging them into one receptacle. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for recommended maximum number of strings per receptacle.
  • Keep lights away from combustible materials, including draperies.
  • Keep lights away from metal railings and banisters, which can become energized if the wire has a short circuit. Avoid stringing lights along aluminum siding, which can conduct electricity. Never use lights on metallic trees.
  • Make sure rooftop decorations don't block vents or vent pipes.

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