State: NSTAR suggests ways of saving money and limiting safety concerns this holiday season

With the holiday season upon us, festive outdoor and indoor light displays can quickly cause a resident’s electricity bill to soar. But the utility company NSTAR is encouraging customers to buy holiday LED lights which use 90% less energy than traditional bulbs.

Spokesman Mike Durand, says 10 strings of mini-LED lights can save $12 on a customer’s monthly bill, “Now they cost a little more to buy; that’s still an issue and hopefully that will start to come down. But the upside is, not only are you saving electricity immediately but they’re much more durable and they last for years.”

As another way of keeping bills low, NSTAR is recommending the use of timers to control when light displays are on.

And while holiday light displays can be a beautiful sight but they can also be very hazardous.

If holiday lights are being re-used, make sure to inspect them. “Make sure the bulbs are intact, the wires aren’t frayed, and if there’s any question at all about them, discard those and get something new. That’s probably the first thing folks should look at when they start their decorating,” says Durand

In order to avoid overheating or overloading electrical circuits, Durand warns customers to buy the correct equipment for light displays, “A lot of folks use extension cords which is fine as long as the extension cord is properly rated for the amount of electricity that they’re going to be using through them. Also, don’t put them under rugs even if it’s an attempt to hide them because they can get frayed they can get damaged.”

NSTAR says that outdoor lights should only be plugged into outlets that are protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters.

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.