Are you a Grinch or a Griswold?
BC Hydro says the trend towards more elaborate holiday light displays, such as the one used by Clark Griswold in the movie ‘Christmas Vacation,’ has increased the province’s power load by about 15 per cent since 2012.
In a new report titled ‘From Grinch To Griswold,’ Hydro says electricity bills from outdoor lighting dropped 40 per cent by 2011 due to more efficient LEDs, but its gone up since then, as people are going to more elaborate outdoor displays.
The survey found these holiday fanatics are installing inflatable holiday decorations which add to costs because they are typically run 24/7 and use a lot more power than a strand of LED bulbs.
They are also 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.
The survey found 57 percent of British Columbians put up outdoor lights, and one in three residents have a neighbour with a mega display.
“Lighting these elaborate displays with older, incandescent bulbs is expensive. Clark Griswold’s infamous holiday display in the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation would 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,” says a news release from Hydro.
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.