U.S. uses more electricity on Christmas lights than Ethiopia does all year
Today, some food for thought while you un-deck the halls, de-trim the tree and neatly pack away the 25-foot multicolored icicle light strands and laser cannons until they’re resurrected once again next Christmastime.
In the United States, holly-jolly seasonal décor of the plug-in variety consumes 6.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. In the grand scheme of things, that figure — a figure that’s likely decreased with the rise of energy-conserving LED-based illumination and more austere decorative displays of yuletide cheer — only represents a minuscule slice of America’s overall annual energy consumption at a paltry 0.2 percent.
While small potatoes compared to other sources of household energy consumption (heating, cooling, cable boxes, modems, clothes dryers and on), 6.63 billion kWh dedicated to one-upping the neighbors with kaleidoscopic spotlights and light-up Yoda yard statues each December is a lot.
It’s enough juice to power 14 million eggnog-filled refrigerators.
It’s more electricity than many developing nations use in an entire year.
As detailed in a recent post published by the Center for Global Development, America’s singular thirst for big and blindingly bright holiday light displays — “America doesn’t just make things. America makes things spectacular,” Gizmodo’s Adam Clark Estes recently mused on our longstanding love affair with Christmas lights — guzzles more energy than countries such as El Salvador (5.35 billion kWh), Ethiopia (5.30 billion kWh) and Tanzania (4.31 billion kWh) consume annually. The same goes for Nepal (3.28 billion kWh) and Cambodia (3.06 billion kWh).