Stringing up some holiday cheer can cost you - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Stringing up some holiday cheer can cost you

WAUSAU (WAOW)--Utility officials told Newsline 9 decking the halls can take a toll on your monthly bill, but there are some ways you can save while spreading some Christmas cheer.

The Witucki family of Rothschild isn't afraid to turn on the lights. "It draws you in," said Justin Witucki of his shining masterpiece. He said he used more than 100 strings of lights on his parents house, garage and yard to light up the night.

But Justin's father will tell you, all those lights aren't cheap. "It seems to get more expensive every year," said Brian Witucki.

"You need to be prepared to pay a little bit more on your bill," said Wisconsin Public Service representative Kelly Zagrzebski about stringing up holiday lights. She recommended LED lights because they are more energy efficient than traditional ones.

"Using the LED lights is your best option. You can leave your lights on longer, it doesn't cost as much to operate," she said. Menards employees said LED lights cost twice as much as traditional C7 lights at the store, but you will reap long-term savings once you light them up.

Wisconsin Public Service offers a free online holiday lighting calculator so customers can estimate how much more they will pay to light up the night.

To use the calculator, click here:

For the average electric customer, 15 strings of LED lights turned on for six hours a day will cost less than two dollars a month. Meanwhile, running the same amount of traditional lights will add more than $40 dollars to your utility bill.

"We bought quite a few too this year, the LEDs, so that should help the budget out a little bit," said Brian Witucki.

The Witucki's use a combination of lights, but Brian said the extra $50 dollars he paid for electricity last December was worth it. "People stop when they're driving's pretty cool."

Utility officials said another helpful tip to save money while still spreading some holiday cheer is to set your lights to a timer so that you can monitor energy use.

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

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