Lights, lights and more Christmas lights! We Americans tend to do Christmas the best, with entire neighborhoods decorated and lit up to perfection we can turn our plain homes into a Winter Wonderland. Although it may be extremely beautiful, decorating for Christmas will put a serious dent in your wallet when it comes to your electric bill. On average, when your Christmas lights are lit, you’ll spend $0.75 more per hour – that’s a major increase! To help lower your electric bill this month, follow these helpful tips so you can spend more money on charitable donations or special gifts for your loved ones.

Timer for lights – It’s easy to forget to turn off the Christmas lights outside your home when going to bed, out of sight out of mind. Unfortunately, leaving your Christmas lights on all through the night will jack up your electric bill. Install a timer for your lights so they come on at 5 p.m. and automatically turn off at 10 or 11 p.m.

Inside lights – Don’t forget to turn off your Christmas lights inside your home when you go to bed and leave home. Not only is this a safety tip, but it will also have an impact on your electric bill for the season as well. Now that it is so dark in the mornings, many people turn on the Christmas lights in their home as they are getting ready for work and forget to turn them off.

Candles – Opt for either real candles or battery-operated candles. Electric candles that plug into the wall just add to the endless other decorations that are now plugged into outlets helping to increase your electric bill for the month.

Inflatable decorations – Although a giant inflatable Frosty the Snowman may make your home look like the North Pole, but it will hike up your electric bill like nothing else. Stick to solid figures that light up rather than investing in an inflatable decoration that will put a major dent in your wallet you don’t need during the holidays.

Lower the thermostat – Regardless if you use electric or gas to heat your home, take advantage of lowering the thermostat. This is the easiest thing you can do to lower your energy bill during one of the most expensive months of the year. Lower the thermostat to 62 when you’re not at home or go to bed, that’s over 16 hours that your thermostat will be turned down and will have a major impact on lowering your energy bill this season!

Switch to LED lights – If you haven’t already, upgrade your Christmas lights to LED lights. They are way more energy efficient and will save you a bundle over Christmas. However, this is an expensive switch, so you may want to wait until after Christmas when decorations go on sale to invest in making the switch, then you’ll be prepared to save next Christmas.