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Give the Gift of Energy Efficiency This Holiday Season

Dec 01, 2021 - 10:59 AM


Upstate NY


Deck the halls with boughs of holly and ‘tis the season to be…energy efficient. Before walking in a winter wonderland or dashing through the snow, National Grid encourages customers to consider how to create energy savings as part of their holiday plans.

“Holiday lights capture everyone’s attention and you might not think of it as an opportunity for energy efficiency,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid Vice President for New York. “But, taking some simple steps can reduce the energy you use and what you spend to celebrate the season.”

Upgrade your lighting
Upgrading holiday lights from traditional incandescent mini-bulbs to LED bulbs can make a difference for the environment and customer home energy bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs use up to 90% less energy and could last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Type of Bulb Energy Consumed
One Day Cost
of Operation
Holiday Season
Cost of Operation
C-9 (2-inch) incandescent 700 $0.63 $27.09
C-9 LED 100 $0.09 $3.87
C-7 (1.5 inch) incandescent 500 $0.45 $19.35
C-7 LED 50 $0.045 $1.94
Mini incandescent 40 $0.036 $1.54
Mini LED 7 $0.0063 $0.27

Based a 100-light string with 6 hours of usage per day at $0.15/kWh. Holiday season is measured as Nov. 26, 2021 to Jan. 8, 2022.

While the upfront cost of LED bulbs is higher, their durability pays off in the long run. LED bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours, compared to 3,000 hours of life for an incandescent bulb. Incandescent bulbs also present a fire hazard, as they become warm to the touch, whereas LED bulbs always stay cool.

Reconsider your connection
Regular power strips still use power when the items plugged in to it are switched off. Additionally, some devices — when turned on — may enter standby mode and continue to consume electricity. Choosing an advanced power strip cuts power to devices turned off while providing service to items that are on.
Also consider connecting your indoor or outdoor lights to a timer or smart plug to automatically switch decorations on and off, and prevent needless energy usage from forgetting to turn off decorations.

Additional holiday energy-saving and safety tips from National Grid:
  • Skip the inflatable yard decorations. They may be fun to look at, but inflatable yard ornaments are among the holiday’s largest energy consumers. Large snow globes consume about 150 watts per hour, while animated inflatables consume around 200 watts. Keeping just one inflated could add as much as $12 per month to a bill.

Inflatable decorations could add as much as $12 per month to a bill.

  • Make smart choices when cooking. Review your recipes to determine the right tools for the job. Use the smallest appliance, pan and burner while cooking to save energy. Slow cookers and electric pressure cookers use less energy than ovens. Both countertop devices heat smaller spaces more efficiently and lose less energy due to their insulation. An electric oven at 350 degrees uses an estimated 2 kilowatt-hours. By comparison, slow cookers utilize approximately 0.1 kWh. Electric pressure cookers, which reduce cooking time of traditional oven recipes by up to 70%, use 0.36 kWh for 15 minutes of operation. Also, if using an oven to prepare a holiday meal, keep its door closed as much as possible to prevent heat loss and reheating of the appliance. 
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label. When shopping for appliances, electronics or other big ticket purchases this year, look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR labels identify energy-efficient products that meet federal energy savings thresholds without sacrificing features and performance.
  • Safely decorate the Christmas tree. Electricity and lighting accounts for 45% of Christmas tree fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Make sure natural trees are well-watered to prevent the heat of light bulbs from igniting a fire. Decorate the tree in moderation, avoiding the temptation to overload branches or hang ornaments on wires. Keep extension cords and strings of lights away from the tree stand and water bowl. An artificial tree should carry the Underwriters Laboratories label, signifying that it has been tested for flammability. Never use electric-powered decorations on trees with metallic needles or branches.
  • Look up before decorating outdoors. Do not hang decorations near or on electricity supply lines, which carry live electricity. Coming into contact with a power line could cause serious or fatal injury. Keep at least 10 feet between decorations and any lines. Never use an aluminum ladder within 10 feet of power lines or related equipment.
  • Stay safe outdoors. Decorate outside using lights and other fixtures specifically labeled and rated for outdoor or all-weather conditions. Keep outdoor cord connections dry by using waterproof cord covers to protect connections, or by keeping them off the ground. Plug exterior lighting into ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCI, available at hardware and home improvement stores. These devices will automatically cut power when faults occur, preventing electric shock.
  • Don’t overload your circuits. Overloading a home’s electricity circuits can trip fuses and breakers. Check the fuse or breaker panel to determine capacity before plugging in decorations. Never double-up extension cords or power strips.
  • Practice lightbulb safety. Light strands should carry an Underwriters Laboratories label, noting they have been tested and safe to use. Unplug lights before going to bed or leaving home. Do not use a strand of lights with burned out or missing bulbs to reduce the risk of electric shock.

Use the smallest appliance, pan and burner while cooking to save energy.

About National Grid

About National Grid: National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, please visit our website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, and find our photos on Instagram.

Media Contacts

Jared Paventi

Syracuse (Central NY)

(315) 427-1092

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Dave Bertola

Buffalo (Western NY)

(716) 831-7136

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Patrick Stella

Albany (Eastern NY)

(518) 433-3838

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