Christmas lights and energy bills illuminate high cost of electricity

Power bills rise over Xmas.Power bills rise over Xmas.

Aussies are spending a fortune on electricity to get into the Christmas spirit, new research shows. The survey by comparison site finder.com.au found that during the Christmas season Australians will spend $163 million on energy bills, purely to power their lights.

The high cost of electricity this year means only 11 per cent of families will go “all out” on their traditional Christmas illuminations.

With neighbourhoods usually competing for “best lights in the street”, the absence of light could put a dampener on Christmas this year.

The Petersons, a family who used to be part of the million Aussies to go to town with their festive lights, switched off their Christmas lights due to rising electricity prices, according to news.com.au.

“We used to love decorating our house and we’d spend weeks getting all our lights and inflatables ready to go, but it just got too expensive,” Sarah Peterson said.

Christmas lights drive up energy bills in December.

Christmas lights drive up energy bills in December.

According to finder.com.au money expert Bessie Hassan, households need to be smarter about how they illuminate Christmas.

Air-conditioning runs up the energy bills

But it’s not just lighting that runs up Christmas power bills. Unlike northern hemisphere countries, where Christmas is a time for heaters and scarves, Australians experience sweltering temperatures in December.

The finder.com.au research shows Australians will spend $1.3 billion over the summer months to pay their air-conditioning bills.

According to energy expert Angus Kidman a typical split-cycle air-conditioning unit uses 5 kWh and costs around 2.7 cents to run per minute.

That’s $13 each night over the summer months if the air-con is running.

The solution: solar panels and battery storage

With families at home during the Christmas holidays, the cost of cooling the house and running appliances naturally increases.

The solution to rising power bills is solar power, generated by rooftop solar panels and battery storage.

To gauge the size of the solar system you need, look at your power usage on your electricity bill.

According to the Clean Energy Council, a typical Australian house consumes around 18 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day. So a 1-2 kW solar system displaces an average of 25-40% of the average electricity bill.

With 3 kW solar system installations being common, it’s clear that solar is the future source of home energy in Australia.

With a rooftop solar and battery storage system, your Christmases will be merry – and well-lit – for decades to come.