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I’m an energy expert – the Christmas decorations to avoid as they could push up bills and the gadgets that won’t

DECKING the house up for Christmas gets everyone in the festive spirit, but you may want to pick your decorations carefully this year.

Some households may be concerned over how much some of their Christmas lights and decorations cost to run.

Energy expert Gareth Kloet reveals how much Christmas lights cost to run

It comes as energy bills rose to £2,500 in October – up from £1,971 – under the government’s energy price guarantee.

The average household’s bill is also set to rise to £3,000 from April 2023 for 12 months.

But Gareth Kloet, an energy expert at Go Compare, said that you don’t need to ditch the decorations altogether.

He said: “The energy used by different decorations can vary significantly, and this will of course impact your household bills, so it’s important to take a look at the technical specifications before you buy.

“There are ways you can run your Christmas decorations in a more efficient way – without compromising your festive display.”

The Sun recently revealed that a household with a string of 200 LED fairy lights would expect to pay just 27p over the Christmas period.

We asked the experts at Go Compare for the most expensive Christmas decorations to run, and some of the cheapest.

The figures below are based on kwh usage, the current energy price guarantee and the usage for 12 hours per day.

How much you pay will vary depending on things like how long you have them on and what energy tariff you’re on.

LED vs traditional bulbs

Energy expert Garth said you should always go for LED lighting.

This is because it uses an estimated 70% to 80% less electricity – on average – than equivalent traditional bulbs, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

And if you really want to save cash, Gareth recommends trying solar lights.

He said: “As a cost-effective alternative, consider solar lights.

“Now available in a range of styles, solar lights have the advantage over traditional plug-in varieties when it comes to energy costs, as they are simply powered by sunlight.

“Even with winter’s shorter days, there is sufficient daylight bright mornings  to keep solar lights charged.”

Icicle lights

Icicle lights can look beautiful draped across your home, but they come at a cost.

Five meters of icicle lights will cost you just 60p per week to run.

Over a month, this will add around £3.04 to your energy bill.

While this doesn’t sound like much, it’s around 11 times more expensive than running LED fairy lights, for example.

This doesn’t mean you should choose to run them, but just remember to factor in any potential costs first.

Multicoloured lights

If you prefer to add a bit of colour to your Christmas, you’ll want to know how much it costs to run multicoloured lights.

A 0.01 kwh set of lights will cost you 29p per week, or £1.26 per month.

This makes them more expensive than a standard set of LED fairy lights.

Light up reindeers

One of the first things that come to mind when many of us think of Christmas is reindeer.

Light up reindeer are a popular outdoor decoration for households up and down the country.

Go Compare estimates that a set of three reindeer would cost around 17p per week to run – just 76p per month.

This makes them one of the least energy-guzzling Christmas decorations.

How else can I cut the cost of Christmas lights?

There are a few, simple tweaks that you can make to the way you run your decorations – and they could save you cash.

Gareth said: “Make sure you always turn off your lights at bedtime – not only for fire safety reasons, but because no-one is likely to see them in the early hours anyway.

“If your lights have a flashing option, this will use less energy than continual lighting – as well as looking extra festive.”

Lots of Christmas lights come with timers so you can set them to be on for specific periods of time.

This will help you to make sure you aren’t wasting energy and you won’t have to stay up to switch them off at night.

How to get help with energy bills

There are plenty of ways to get help with your energy bills this winter.

First, there’s the warm home discount scheme which is an automatic £150 discount off energy bills between October 2022 and March 2023 for millions of families on the lowest incomes.

Plus, the next tranche of the Household Support Fund is being rolled out across the UK.

What you’ll get through the fund will depend on where you live as councils decide how to issue their share of the fund.

The best thing to do is contact your local council to find out whether you might be entitled to help.

Next, there’s the cost of living payments which have already started being issued – and more were confirmed in the Autumn Statement.

Millions should be in the process of receiving the second instalment of the £650 cost of living payment.

Millions more will get help depending on their circumstances.

In addition to that, energy companies often offer grants to customers who are struggling to pay their bills.

For a list of freebies and grants you can get, you can read our guide here.

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