How you can save money (and avoid sticker shock) on your electric bill during the holidays

Consumer Watch

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The holidays are here, and, for most people, that means your electricity usage will go up. This also means that your holiday electric bills will go up as well. 

Between late-night festivities, holiday decorations, house guests and lots of extra activity, utility bills go up every holiday season. That does not have to happen, though, if you follow some helpful hints for cutting down on your power usage during these coming holiday weeks. 

“Our business is extremely weather-driven from the perspective that members use more electricity when it’s cold or hot. Heating and cooling a home are number one when it comes to electricity use,” said Steve Goodson with Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation.

Johnathan Sergeant with Greenville Utilities reiterates that.

“During cold weather, customers use more electricity and natural gas to heat their business and homes. Outdoor temperatures drive home energy usage more than any other single factor.”  

Tips that Greenville Utilities recommends to save money 

Sergeant also mentions that bills could be higher because of family visiting during holidays.

“People taking more showers so water heaters may be working more. Secondly, they are doing more cooking or having Christmas lights throughout the home, members will see an increase in their bill from the standpoint of additional daily use,” Sergeant said.

Tips that Duke Energy recommends to save money during the holiday season  

Laurinda Schenck with Duke Energy says when it comes to those Christmas lights, use LED ones for tree and other holiday lightning.

“LEDs are ideal for tree and holiday lighting since they are brighter, last 10 times longer, use up to 80% less energy and stay cooler, reducing the risk of fires,” Schenck said.

Secondly, use automatic timers.

“Programmable timers control the amount of time you’re running your holiday displays each day,” Schenck said.

Thirdly, use advanced power strips.

“Smart strips better control when lights and decorations are on and eliminate standby energy loss,” Schenck said.

Lastly, Schenck said to use advanced power strips. 

“Shiny ornaments, tinsel and mirrors can multiply the effects of your lighting without using more energy.”

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