Edison Offers Customers Tips For Economic & Safe Holiday Lighting

November 29, 2006

November 29, 2006

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Nov. 29, 2006—As Southern Californians begin decorating their homes, work places, and Christmas trees for the holidays, Southern California Edison (SCE) reminds customers that an energy-efficient approach is the merriest way to light up the holidays.

“Because electricity rates are higher this year we want customers to know there are lighting options available that can help make this a festive yet energy-efficient season,” said Lynda Ziegler, SCE’s senior vice president of customer service.  “Saving energy is especially important at this time because the state’s tiered rate system can bump customer bills into upper rate tiers and higher per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) costs during months when usage jumps.”

The utility also urges its customers to remember the importance of electrical safety when stringing decorative lights and operating holiday devices such as model trains. 

Holiday Lighting Energy-Efficiency Tips
- Use a timer to automatically control when your holiday lights turn on and off.
- Use energy-efficient holiday lighting products.  As the following table illustrates, some bulbs use energy much more efficiently than do other types.

Type
of lighting
Bulbs per strand kWh* per strand per day (5 hrs.) Cost** per strand
for 30 days
Icicle light strands 150 bulbs, 1.90 watts each 1.425 $6.41
Regular outside strands 20 bulbs, 7.00 watts each .700 $3.15
Regular tree lights 25 bulbs, 5.00 watts each .625 $2.25
Midget “twinkle” strands 50 bulbs, 2.00 watts each .500 $1.80
Energy-saver mini lights 50 bulbs, 0.40 watts each .100  $0.36
LED holiday lights 50 bulbs, 0.04 watts each .010 $0.04

* Kilowatt-hour – using 1,000 watts for one hour
** Assumes an average rate of $0.15/kWh.  Actual costs depend on total consumption as well as the rate tier into which a customer’s monthly usage falls.  If usage includes the highest current rate tier, costs could double.


Holiday Lighting Safety Tips
- Keep electrical connections off the ground and away from moisture.  Water and electricity are a deadly combination.
- When hanging lights, make sure staples, tacks, and nails do not pierce or pinch wires.  Use plastic zip cords instead. 
- Never get closer than 10 feet to power lines.  Remember, trees may have power lines running above, near, or through them.  Do not throw light strands or electrical cords into trees. 
- Do not use lighted candles on trees or decorations. During power outages use flashlights instead of candles.
- Use only lighting and cords approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent, nonprofit organization that tests electrical components and equipment for potential hazards.
- Check all indoor and outdoor decorative lighting for frayed cords, broken wires and loose connections.  If you find a problem, throw the strand away!
- Change bulbs only when the lights are unplugged.
- Use lights and extension cords designed for outdoor use if placing them outside.
- Unplug lights when you leave home or go to bed.  Use a timer so that they’re on only during the hours you select. This can also help you save energy. 
- Use only three strands of lights per electrical cord/outlet. An overload could cause a short circuit and a fire.
- Keep indoor trees well watered so that they won’t dry out and become fire hazards.
- Keep lights away from carpeting, furniture, drapes and other combustible materials.

For more information, visit www.sce.com and click on “Safety.”

#  #  #

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX)company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.7 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.