It’s that time of year, the most wonderful time of the year, a time where literally everything is lit up, including your home. But how wonderful are Christmas lights to your energy bill? What are the true energy costs of Christmas lights? And can solar panels and solar batteries make a difference?
Average cost of Christmas lights
Assuming that you are running your outdoor Christmas lights every night of December for at least 5 hours per night, standard incandescent fairy lights that consume around 40W per 100 lights will easily add an extra $34 on top of your December energy bill. But this is just for your standard incandescent fairy lights displayed outside.
Consider extra lighting outside your home (perhaps you have a larger house that requires spectacularly more Christmas lights to compete with the neighbours), plus the lights twirling around on your Christmas tree, plus extra decorations such as Santa with his sleigh of reindeers that need to be illuminated. Not to mention the extra time spent at home during the holiday season (think of the air conditioner running stop during an Aussie summer!) and you’ve got enough of an energy surge to create some bill shock!
One energy saving tip would be to use LED Christmas lights, as they last 25 times longer and are a fraction of the energy cost of incandescent lights.
Can solar panels help?
Investing in good and reputable solar panels and solar batteries will help overcome post-holiday season bill shock, and shouldn’t be the first consideration just for the Christmas light up season, but for energy cost savings throughout the year!
For an Aussie Christmas in the height of summer, it makes sense to install solar panels and solar power has never been more affordable, with government rebates and incentive schemes still available making access to solar power installation very easy.
Installing solar panels can help reduce your electricity by as much as 30 to 60%, meaning that you could recoup the initial upfront cost of a home solar system within 3 to 5 years, depending on your energy usage.
How does solar work to help power my Christmas lights?
During the day, when the hot Aussie sun is out, solar panels convert UV light into electricity. This electricity produced by the solar panels is then converted into AC power, the type of electricity that powers your home and all your appliances. So, all your appliances, including Christmas lights and electric powered decorations will use the energy captured from the solar panels instead of from the power grid (saving you money).
You have to remember that your appliances will only be powered during the day by the electricity produced by the solar panels. Whatever electricity does not get used during the day will either be sent to the power grid (where you will receive a feed-in tariff from your electricity provider) or will be sent to a solar battery for charging.
Do I need a solar battery?
The average household consumes less energy during the day than at night. Lockdown and quarantine aside, most residents are usually not home during the day and don’t need to power their homes and their appliances during peak solar production time.
The majority of our energy usage is therefore used after the sun has set, when everyone has arrived home and has fired up all the appliances (think lights, cooking appliances, TV, computers, gaming, air con/heaters… and come Christmas time – Christmas lights!).
Another thought to consider is the fact that peak period usage in the evenings has a higher tariff rate applied by your electricity provider.
By having a solar battery, you are essentially not wasting or giving away unused power back to grid, but instead storing your excess solar power during the day to be used in the evening. A grid-connected solar battery storage system means you can run your home (and all your Christmas lights) on as much solar power as possible before having to resort to grid power.
A solar battery definitely makes extra sense during the holiday season when your energy usage at night is much higher than your usage during the day.
Reduce your Christmas energy costs
It’s a no-brainer with the Aussie Christmas we all get to experience in the peak of summer that an all-inclusive home solar system with solar panels and a solar battery can definitely help reduce the added costs of Christmas lights and all the holiday energy usage around that time.
If you would like to request a Solaray quote and find the best solar system for your home, click here to get started.