One of Surrey’s festive homes boasts a Christmas display featuring thousands of lights. (Submitted photo)

‘Mega’ holiday home displays using up more power: report

Lights, inflatables and other electronic displays have increased B.C.’s power load by 15% since 2012

We’ve been using more and more electricity to decorate our homes for the holidays.

That’s according to a new study from BC Hydro, which said Friday that electronic displays and lights have caused a 15-per-cent uptick in the province’s power load since 2012.

The year before, the outdoor lighting load had dropped about 40 per cent because of the the mass adoption of LEDs, which use 90 per cent less power.

Since then, BC Hydro said, electricity use is up because of people’s increasingly zealous efforts to festoon their homes with everything from the classic light strands to inflatable Santas and reindeer.

One in three British Columbians say they have a neighbour who puts up a “mega display,” the study said.

Another nearly 60 per cent said they themselves put up some form of outdoor holiday lights, with the average homeowner hanging three strands of bulbs.

READ MORE: Deck the halls, not your head: How to safely use a ladder

Inflatable holiday decorations use a lot more power than a strand of LED bulbs, BC Hydro added. Four per cent of respondents said they install more than 750 lights each year, climbing beyond 100,000 lights for the biggest displays.

Fifteen per cent admitted to blowing a breaker switch from overdoing it.

Much of the cost comes from one-third of displays still using older, inefficient incandescent lights – increasing their energy costs and consumption.

Clark Griswold’s infamously radiant home in the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation would have cost him around $4,700 in energy using incandescent lights, BC Hydro said. Had he used LEDs, it would have only cost him $50.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ladysmith fabric designer donates her time to make free face masks and gowns

Nikki MacCallum works three days a week on masks and gowns, and three days on her regular business

LDCU offers no interest loans for members in need

Existing members can borrow up to $5,000 interest free

Sweet treat helps make Chemainus Health Care Centre workers feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Most Read