Avoid spending a lot of money when hanging Christmas lights and decorations

COLORADO (KRDO) — Decorating your home for the holiday season can be ruinous, but it doesn’t have to be. Xcel Energy offers customers some ideas to save money and keep their energy bills low during the holiday season.

According to Xcel Energy, depending on Colorado’s light types and electric rates, customers typically save anywhere from $1 to more than $100 on holiday lights. One strand of 100 LED mini-lights for a total of five hours can save a customer more than 80 cents per month per strand. That compares to a string of incandescent light bulbs.

Xcel Energy said a string of 25 C7 standard LED lights used for five hours can save about $2.50 per month, while a string of 25 C9 standard LED lights can save more than $3.50 per month, according to the manufacturer.

Several strings of Christmas lights used for up to two months can generate significant savings.

15 strands of various Christmas lights are used for five hours a day as follows:

  • Mini LED lights: over $20
  • Standard C7 LED lights: almost $65
  • Standard C9 LED lights: around $90

Customers can save on their energy bills by turning on their lights during the off-peak price period.

Low Season Pricing Period

  • Non-holiday weekdays: 3 pm and 7 pm
  • Weekends and holidays: All hours have low season prices.

Customers who have 15 strands of various Christmas lights for five hours a day, starting at 6 pm, as follows:

  • Mini LED lights: about $0.50
  • C7 LED lights: about $1.25
  • C9 LED lights: about $1.75
  • Standard mini lights: about $3
  • standard C7 lights: about $9
  • Standard C9 lights: about $13

Xcel Energy provided some safety reminders when hanging decorations:

  • Plan to decorate and light ahead of time to reduce potential safety risks.
  • Use only Underwriters’ Laboratory approved lights and follow manufacturer’s instructions for interior and exterior lighting.
  • Before putting Christmas lights on houses or trees, look up for any overhead power lines, then keep all objects like ladders and extension poles more than 10 feet away. Never throw lights near or across an overhead power line.
  • Check the wires on the string lights and replace any that are frayed or worn. Discard all those that are in poor condition. Also, check for loose connections and damaged plugs or light sockets.
  • Plug in lights before attaching to determine if any bulbs are burnt out.
  • Unplug lights before you hang them, and unplug them when you’re asleep or away from home.
  • Avoid stringing together too many string lights and plugging them into one outlet. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum recommended number of wires per outlet.
  • Keep lights away from combustible materials, including curtains.
  • Keep lights away from metal railings and handrails, which can become energized if the wire is shorted. Avoid placing lights along the aluminum siding, as they can conduct electricity. Never use lights on metal trees.
  • Make sure roof decorations do not block vents or vent pipes.

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