Tips for Saving on Your Holiday Heating and Electric Bill

Posted: December 2, 2019

Despite a proposed 5.8% hike that would see $695 million in rate increases next year on top of several service disruptions last summer, come holiday time, Con Ed just won’t accept its rightful place on your “naughty list.” And to make matters worse, if you’re one of the millions who use holiday lights to decorate, you’re giving them a year-end bonus from the added electric use. All of this gets thrown into the Con Ed kitty that totals a reported $12 billion in revenues already. What did they get you?

Even if your decorations are limited to a simple medium-sized Christmas tree, chances are, you’re forking over extra cash to the gas and electric monopoly this holiday season.

So, what does that end up costing you? Golden Valley Electric Association published a mathematical formula to help determine how much it will cost to run a single strand of lights.

(# of watts/1000) X (# of hours) X (# of days) X o.21 per kilowatt hour

The average Christmas Tree is lit by three 100-ct strands of incandescent mini bulbs, is up roughly 40 days, and is powered for about 10 hours per day. Con Ed currently charges 21 cents per kilowatt hour. Using GVEA’s formula, that tree is costing about $6.50. That’s independent of taxes, fees, customer charges, utility charges, and all those other fun hidden line items on your utility bill. Now think about how much it costs those homes that go for the full Clark Griswold décor treatment from the Vacation movie franchise. That’s a big holiday bonus for a utility company.

So, how can you save on electricity costs without going full-on “bah humbug” this holiday season?  Our lighting and common-sense experts have come up with a short list of three cost-saving changes that will help keep those unwanted yuletide expenses at bay.

 

1 – UPGRADE TO LED


The cost of operating LED lights is roughly one third compared to traditional mini incandescent lights. True, they cost three times as much for the upfront purchase, but with a lifespan of 20,000 hours, they last ten times longer.

 

2 – LOWER THE HEAT FOR THOSE HOLIDAY PARTIES


Have you ever noticed that it’s usually stiflingly hot inside at most holiday house parties? That’s because the thermostat is usually at its standard setting. Add in body heat, a few decorative candles, not to mention those tacky Christmas sweaters, and your guests are sweltering. Here’s a tip, once the tenth guest has crossed your threshold, lower your thermostat a few degrees. You’ll save money, and your guests will enjoy themselves more.

 

3 – INVEST IN SMART PLUGS


As our blog explained back in May, there are countless benefits to having a smart home. But what if your home isn’t wired as a smart home yet? One great cost-saving option that makes your home smarter is a smart plug. Smart plugs, like ones sold by Amazon, can help you save a lot on your electric bill. Just plug your Christmas tree lights into a smart plug and tell Alexa when you want to have them turned on and off.

This year, instead of putting Con Ed on your holiday list, give yourself a gift for 2020. Invest in a smart home. Smart Lighting, Smart Switches, Smart Thermostats, Smart Outlets, and Smart Doorbells installed by PK & Altman Electric can save money, give you peace of mind and even help keep the Grinch from stealing your Amazon Prime packages from your front door. Call (212) 673-9400 for a free consultation today.

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