Mega holiday displays increase power use and costs

A new BC Hydro report finds the trend towards more elaborate holiday displays has increased the province’s power load from electronic decorations and lights by about 15 per cent since 2012, adding to costs for many. The report titled “From Grinch to Griswold: Trend toward bigger holiday displays increasing electricity bills” found about a 40 per cent drop in outdoor lighting load by 2011 because of the mass adoption of LEDs, which use 90 per cent less energy. Since then, however, it has increased due to more elaborate outdoor displays. In fact, a survey commissioned by BC Hydro found one in three British Columbians have a neighbour with a mega display.

The survey also found these holiday fanatics are:

• Installing inflatable holiday decorations: these decorations have become increasingly popular over the past decade, and add to costs because they are typically run 24/7 and use a lot more power than a strand of LED bulbs.

• Using lots of lights and electronics: four per cent said they install more than 750 lights each year, and this number can climb to over 100,000 lights for the biggest displays.

• Pushing the limits: 15 per cent admit to blowing a breaker switch from overloading their lights and decorations. Lighting these elaborate displays with older, incandescent bulbs is expensive. Clark Griswold’s infamous holiday display in the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacationwould have cost him around $4,700 during the holiday season using incandescent lights, compared to the $50 it would have cost if it was lit by LEDs. The survey also found 57 per cent of British Columbians put up outdoor holiday lights and among those are different levels of decorating enthusiasm:

• The Grinch (42 per cent): no holiday lights, no added cost.

• The holiday minimalist (38 per cent): three strands of lights, on average.

• The holiday enthusiast (13 per cent): eight strands of lights, on average.

• The holiday fanatic – also known as ‘The Griswold’ (6 per cent): at least 10 strands of lights, and often much more to light up the entire block.

Although most British Columbians are putting up lights, one-third of displays are still using some older inefficient incandescent holiday lights – increasing their energy costs and consumption. British Columbians can save around $40 over the holiday season by switching eight strands of incandescent lights to energy-efficient LEDs. LED holiday lights also last 10 times longer and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.

For more tips on saving energy this holiday season, visit: www.bchydro. com.

Just Posted

Are there windier days ahead?

Tales from the Bear

Man caught in fatal avalanche ID’ed as Alberta man in his 20s

Outdoor guides warn against high winds in the mountains Family Day weekend

Road conditions for Feb. 14

More compact snow and slippery sections

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Cougars take bended knee for injured Osoyoos player

Vernon coach commends Barriere Cougars for showing respect to injured player

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Bomb threats, gunfire, kidnapping: Drug war rocks Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP battles a series of violent events

B.C. hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

B.C. firefighters rescue bear cub stuck up a tree

Family Day was eventful for cub, firefighters

Most Read