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National Grid employees decorate Kevin Guest House on Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus with energy efficiency lighting

Buffalo, NY – The holiday season in Western New York features festive-lighting displays, cold nights and the shortest days of the year – what better time for consumers to focus on energy efficiency? And what better way to celebrate the season of giving than by lending the talents of National Grid employees who decorated the Kevin Guest House on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus with energy efficiency lighting?  National Grid used the opportunity to decorate the Kevin Guest House to show customers some simple energy efficiency tips as well as some tips below on holiday entertaining to ensure that everyone enjoys safe, affordable and environmentally-friendly holidays. 

“We know that families want the holidays to be festive, and we want them to know that it can be done safely and efficiently,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid. “Energy efficiency solutions such as LED lighting and advanced power strips allow our customers to spend less money on electricity, and they will also help leave a cleaner world for future generations.”

Over the past few years, new lighting alternatives have become available that may cost more initially, but cost much less to maintain and operate.  Energy-efficient miniature or light-emitting diode (LED) lights use as much as 90 percent less energy than traditional lighting technology.  Traditional bulbs only offer around 1,500 hours of light and can fade or flake over time, but LEDs feature epoxy lenses that allow for up to 100,000 hours of light.   The list below provides customers with the potential costs associated with each type of lighting.


  • LED Lights -- LED lights use only 0.05 watts per bulb, or 1/10 the amount of miniature bulbs. Due to their solid-state construction, these bulbs are safer because they stay cool, and are proving to be more durable. Ten sets of 100 of these LED bulbs will cost the typical residential customer $1.35 per month to operate.
  • Traditional Lights -- These lights use about five watts per bulb. A typical residential customer with a rate of 15 cents per kWh will pay $33.75 a month to operate 10 strings of 25-bulb traditional bulbs for six hours per day.
  • Miniature Lights -- The average miniature light uses 0.5 watts per bulb. Operating ten strings of the bulbs, at 100-bulbs per string for the same six hours, will cost the typical residential customer $13.50 per month.
  • Icicle Lights -- Icicle lights use the same amount of energy per miniature bulb as miniature light strands, but a string of icicle lights with 100 bulbs will cover a much shorter distance than a straight string of miniature lights. Adding additional strands of lights will increase the typical residential customer’s electricity usage.

Regardless of the lights you choose, additional energy and cost can be saved by turning lights off and unplugging before going to bed or installing an automatic timer. Also, consider using fewer lights and more decorations that do not use energy – such as wreaths or poinsettias.

Additional Energy Saving Tips

  • Yard Inflatables -- Yard inflatables range from simple blow-up cartoon characters to 8-foot-tall globes with rotating figures, blowing snow and lights. Large globes consume about 150 watts per hour, while rotating carousels consume around 200 watts. At 10 hours per day, the total cost of electricity could be $10 per inflatable, per month.
  • Holiday Cooking -- Using the smallest appliance for the job while cooking during the holidays will always save energy.  For example, microwave ovens use less than half the energy required by a conventional oven.  Use the smallest pan and burner needed for the job. Cook with lids on your pans. For example, cooking pasta without a lid on the pot can use three times as much energy.
  • Advanced power strips -- These strips can save up to $100 per year in energy costs by eliminating “standby energy loss.” When peripheral appliances such as audio equipment or computer monitors are not being used, they often still consume energy. Advanced power strips shut off electricity to such devices automatically, while maintaining power to products that need it, such as cable boxes or modems.
  • Smart Baking -- To improve oven efficiency, keep the doors closed as much as possible and bake several dishes at the same time and temperature. Every time the door is opened, heat escapes.
  • Storing the Feast -- Keep extra beverages and holiday leftovers cold by storing them in your garage or on the porch if temperatures permit.  Unplugging that second refrigerator saves $23 per month on the electricity bill. Also, defrosting frozen food in the refrigerator helps keep the refrigerator cold.


Decorating Safely

  • Avoid Overhead Lines -- Overhead power lines are NOT insulated and carry enough energy to cause serious injury or even death.  Never use an aluminum ladder within 10 feet of power lines, and keep yourself and holiday decorations at least 10 feet away from residential electric lines and equipment.
  • Approved Lighting -- Make sure your lights have a safety listing from a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as the Underwriters Laboratories (UL).  A safety approval seal means the lights have been tested and are safe to use.  Use lights only as intended. Always unplug your lights before going to bed or leaving home.
  • Outdoor Connections -- Plug outdoor lights into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, which are available at hardware and electrical supply stores.  If there is an electrical fault with a light string, GFCIs will automatically shut off the electricity well before any electric shock could occur.  Also, cover outdoor plugs and connector joints with a water-resistant layer of plastic wrap and electrical tape.
  • Christmas Trees -- If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s been tested for flammability by the Underwriters Laboratories.  To prevent electrical shock, never use electric decorations on artificial trees with metallic needles, leaves or branches.  Instead, place colored spotlights above or beside the tree—never attached to it. Keep your natural tree well-watered to prevent bulbs from igniting dry branches.  Keep extension cords and light sets away from the tree stand.
  • Don’t Overload -- Don’t overload your electric circuits.  Check your fuse or breaker panel to see how much your home can handle and stay well within limits.
  • Avoid Shock -- Make sure there’s a bulb in each socket.  If a bulb has burned out, leave it in until you have a replacement.

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com.  Follow us on Twitter, Watch us on You Tube, Friend us on Facebook, Find our photos on Instagram.  



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