Minimise Your Energy Bills While Lighting Up for Christmas
With December just around the corner, you might want to examine your energy usage over the previous 12 months. In retrospect, you might have observed an increase in your electricity bill in December last year.
Is it because some of your home appliances aren’t exactly energy efficient? Possibly. Is it the air conditioning, which is almost running nonstop? That most likely also has a role to play. Plus, of course, you’ve got that cheery display of holiday lights set up.
People enjoy seeing their neighbourhood lit up for the holidays. With so many houses decorated for Christmas, it’s no wonder energy demand rises during this time of the year. And while it may not be your intention to cover every inch of your property with lights, you can expect your power bill to rise with every strand of your favourite sparkly Christmas holiday décor.
This should come as no surprise, yet the number, size, and kind of lights you use have a significant impact on how much your power consumption will increase (more on this later).
At Champion Homes, we’re not just about helping you find the perfect house and land package in Sydney. We want you to bask in the spirit of Christmas and enjoy lighting up your home while also minimising your electricity consumption.
Check out our tips below on how you can do just that.
Use solar-powered Christmas lights.
The typical Christmas light display, which comprises 200 fairy lights, can increase your household bill by around $70 or more. [Source: https://mozo.com.au/energy/guides/how-christmas-lights-affect-your-energy-bill-and-how-to-save. It also helps to know that a string of 100 mini-incandescent lights uses approximately 40 watts per hour. [Source: https://www.sparkenergy.com/how-holiday-decorations-affect-your-energy-bill/]
By choosing solar-powered lights, which are charged with light energy from the sun, you’ll have one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly Christmas light decorations ever. With about eight hours of sunlight every day in December, you’ll have plenty of energy to charge them up with, so you can use them at night without worrying about excessive energy use.
Give LED lights a try.
Whatever the time of year, you need to be prepared to receive a higher power bill if you have incandescent lights than you would if you have light-emitting diodes or LED lights installed.
Fifty conventional light bulbs use about 0.3 kilowatts of energy to illuminate a space, but 50 units of LED lights require only 0.004 kilowatts to achieve the same results. The more lights you use and the longer you leave them on, the greater the disparity between the two types of lighting in terms of electricity use.
Therefore, it’s essential to use LED lights if you want to install plenty for decorating while also avoiding a significant increase in your energy costs. LEDs drastically cut power costs, so you can use more of them to decorate your property while also spending less.
For example, one set of LED icicle lights comprising 250 bulbs may be operated for ten hours per night and set you back just 60 cents throughout the month of December. Meanwhile, one 100-bulb set of LED fairy lights will cost you an additional 50 cents for the month and just a cent for every star garden light. [Source: https://mozo.com.au/energy/guides/how-christmas-lights-affect-your-energy-bill-and-how-to-save]
Typical incandescent lights can increase those estimated costs by approximately 20 times, so LEDs are obviously the more efficient and inexpensive option. Additionally, there’s no need to replace LED lights as frequently as you would incandescent bulbs because the former is more durable. [Source: https://mozo.com.au/energy/guides/how-christmas-lights-affect-your-energy-bill-and-how-to-save]
Use a timer with your holiday lights.
A simple technique to reduce the energy used on Christmas light displays is to set the times when they are supposed to be on and off. Besides, not a lot of people will walk outside to view your Christmas lights after 10 p.m., especially not during the daytime when they’re barely visible.
An inexpensive switch timer can be a great solution in your quest to minimise energy use. How? You can program it to turn on the Christmas lights at dusk and turn them off at a respectable hour in the evening automatically. This way, you’ll save kilowatt-hours by not having to turn them on and off manually every day or keep them continuously on all the time.
Aside from switch timers, there are also lights that have a built-in timer. Whichever one you choose, both are designed to not only help you control when your Christmas lights are on but also (hopefully) reduce the duration at which they are used.
Utilise extension cords wisely.
Our Leppington homes range from spacious double.
Are you using additional strands of light to get to an outlet? If so, you could be increasing your electricity consumption unnecessarily.
Instead, you can use an inconspicuous extension cord that won’t use up electricity and is actually designed to help you access electrical outlets safely.
Run lights to coincide with less expensive off-peak tariff.
Are you aware of the actual rate your energy company charges you for electricity? Even when the rate is the most crucial element that determines the amount you actually spend on power, it’s something that’s easy to ignore.
Electricity providers vary in several areas, including tariff charges, which can be either flat rates or peak and off-peak rates. While an off-peak rate will result in you paying less for your electricity outside of the busiest hours of the day, a flat rate tariff guarantees you will always pay the same price for electricity throughout.
Hours typically vary between jurisdictions. In New South Wales, for example, rates are set as follows:
Off-peak power rates – between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Shoulder rates (in-between rates) – between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. and between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Peak rates (Monday to Friday) – between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Weekends – shoulder or off-peak
Even if your power provider controls exactly how much you spend within each period, timing is crucial. If you’re in an area where peak and off-peak tariffs apply, you can save money by keeping your Christmas lights on during off-peak hours.
Smartly light up this Christmas
While energy use tends to shoot up in December, there’s no reason for you to follow the trend.
You can always implement smart changes like the ones mentioned here to ensure you get to light up your home with festive cheer without going overboard on your electricity bill.
And speaking of making smart choices, you can get the best home and land packages if you’re looking to build your first or customise home at Champion Homes.
When it comes to house and land packages, Champion Homes is a great choice. Our Freedom House and Land packages deliver you more home for less work, providing you with a range of high-quality modern home design choices for single-storey, double-storey, corner lot, and narrow lot options, all of which come packed with more inclusions for a fantastic value.
And with our extensive experience in building house and land packages in Sydney, you can rest easy knowing that we’ll deliver you designs and quality you can trust.
Get in touch for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our dedicated H&L specialists today!
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