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Columbia County Observer

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Duke Energy Tips for the Holiday Season with Online Energy Calculators for Lighting & Cooking

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The lights and sights of the holiday season make everything merry and bright. Before you deck the halls and transform your home into a festival of lights, calculate how your holiday displays will affect your winter energy bills.

A bright idea: Estimate holiday lighting costs

Lighting displays are part of the timeless holiday decorating tradition and a great way to dazzle your family, friends and neighbors.

To help customers plan and manage their displays, Duke Energy offers a holiday lighting energy calculator that estimates holiday lighting costs. Estimate your costs before decorating and incorporate efficient, budget-friendly lighting options.

Holiday lighting calculator

Users can identify the type of lights, the number of 100-bulb strands and how many hours the lights will be used per day to estimate the energy cost per day and per month. Based on their lighting selections, customers can receive energy-efficient tips and options.

For example, six 100-bulb sets of large, incandescent bulbs (600 bulbs total) plugged in six hours every evening can add as much as $80 to a monthly power bill.

By comparison, six 100-bulb sets of similarly styled light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs would increase a monthly power bill by only about $7. Using six 100-bulb sets of mini-LED bulbs would increase a monthly power bill by only $1.

Watts cooking?

Whether mixing, roasting or baking favorite holiday dishes, use our cooking calculator to see the total cost of preparing everything from appetizers to desserts.

Money-saving tips to combat the cold

As the holiday season heats up, temperatures will cool down. Help save on your winter energy bills with the following tips:

• The thermostat can be the biggest contributor of high winter bills. Select the lowest comfortable setting on your thermostat when you're home, and then lower the temperature a degree or two when you leave.

• Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.

• Inefficient heating can also add to monthly power bills during colder temperatures. Regular service calls from a licensed technician will help to properly maintain your heating and cooling system.

• The ceiling fan is a great way to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Simply set the fans to operate in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air back down into the room.

• On sunny days, leave your drapes or blinds open to allow the sun's rays to warm the house.

• Wear warm clothing for additional energy savings at home. If you're planning a holiday party this season, consider a holiday sweater theme. That way, you can bump down the thermostat a degree or two while your guests stay toasty and warm.

A safe and happy holiday season

Having a happy holiday means having a safe holiday. Before you deck the halls, follow these tips to stay safe and happy this holiday season:

• Before installing lights, check each set – new and old – for damaged sockets, loose connections and frayed or bare wires. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.

• Never use more than three standard-sized sets of lights per extension cord.

• Plug exterior lights into ground-fault interruptible (GFI) outlets only. If the home lacks outside GFI outlets, call an electrician to install them.

• Before climbing a ladder, inspect it to ensure it's in good working condition, and follow the weight limits specified on the ladder and manufacturer instructions.

• Never use a ladder on or near power lines or poles.

About Duke Energy

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest.

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