The cost of ‘Powering UP’ Christmas and how to save on festive energy

Published on December 21, 2020

How much would you guess we spend on powering Christmas each year? A recent study has revealed that it’s probably a lot more than you might think! We dive deeper into the study to look at where we splurge the most on festive energy and share some handy, money saving tips to help you lower your electricity use.

Millions spent on Christmas day electricity

Your outside lights are glowing, the tree inside is twinkling, the turkey is roasting, the kids are watching their favourite festive show, and the Queen’s speech is on the radio. All these traditions are what make Christmas day special, but have you ever stopped to think about how much all this actually costs the nation to power?

The total may come as a shock!

A recent study by ElectricalDirect has found that Britain spends a cracking £1.5 billion on electricity throughout December, with £66 million of that on Christmas Day alone – that’s a whopping 402,144,104 Kwh (or 402 Gwh) of electricity in just one day!

To put that into perspective, the energy we use on the big day itself could power Times Square in New York for 7 years, light up the Eiffel Tower for 50 years, and keep the famous Blackpool Illuminations glowing for 406 years.

The biggest energy offenders revealed

While devouring a full Christmas dinner is the highlight of the day for many, cooking it is one of the most energy-consuming activities. The roasting of turkeys, boiling of sprouts, burning of stuffing, and baking of Yorkshire puds is expected to cost the nation a sizzling £20,582,615 in electricity.

Those pretty fairy lights may be small, but powering Christmas lights is another big source of electricity use. We’re expected to spend £4,416,075 powering those tiny light bulbs.

Modern televisions may be incredibly energy efficient, but the sheer number of people tuning in to catch their favourite festive flicks on Christmas day makes TV another place where we use a lot of electricity. On 25th December, we’ll spend around £1.4 million on powering our TV sets.

The top 5 most energy-consuming, and therefore expensive, programmes on the big day are predicted to be:

1) Call the Midwife: Christmas Special at £261,000
2) Strictly: The Christmas Countdown at £200,000
3) Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel at £122,000
4) Britain’s Got Talent at Christmas at £116,800
5) EastEnders at £110,000

The Queen’s Speech, which is on air for just 10 minutes, is expected to cost £26,166.67!

Is covid-19 making us spend even more energy?

Director of ElectricalDirect, Dominick Sandford, reveals that these figures could climb even higher because the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way many of us will celebrate the holidays.

He said: “Coronavirus has meant more people are spending Christmas in their own homes. The restrictions will put a stop to big family gatherings, meaning the electricity usage for the day may even exceed these figures due to more houses being in use for Christmas.”

5 Simple ways to reduce your Christmas electricity bill

To help you spend a little less on energy this Christmas without switching off any of the fun, here are our energy saving tips for the festive period.

1) Swap to LED fairy lights – possibly the most effective way to reduce your energy consumption over the holidays is to switch to LED fairy lights. These power saving bulbs use around 90% less energy than traditional ones.

2) Pop your lights on a timer – you can buy fairy lights that can be set on a timer so they turn off automatically (this has the added benefit of eliminating the need to awkwardly crawl under your Christmas tree to reach the plug!).

3) Switch off outside lights – the Christmas lights on your house may be the pride of the street but instead of leaving them on all night, switch them off after a few hours to save energy and money.

4) Decorate with candles – real candles not only look and smell festive, they create a warming, cosy atmosphere without using any electricity when lit too. Remember to be safe, and not leave any candles unattended.

5) Don’t overload the fridge – a fridge that is full to bursting with delicious treats will use more energy to keep everything cool, so before buying that third yule log or extra bag of sprouts (just in case) make sure you have plenty of space.

*Bonus tip* – Switch energy supplier

Switching your energy supplier can not only help you save during the holidays but throughout the year as well. So, why not see how much you could save on your energy bills by taking a few minutes to get a quote from Utility Point today (we’ve recently been named one of the cheapest suppliers by Which?)?

You can read the full report by ElectricalDirect here.