Holiday light use graphic

Lit up - According to a 2008 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States uses 4.48 billion kilowatt hours per year of electricity from holiday lights. That’s more electricity use than some small countries as illustrated by this 2015 data graph from the Center for Global Development, which compiled the individual country data from a 2015 EIA report.

Deck the halls with LED lights this holiday season to get a city rebate

Decking the halls with twinkling holiday lights and swathing Christmas trees with strings of bulbs are all part of the holiday season — but so is using more electricity — and the city of Healdsburg is offering a rebate for residents who switch to energy-saving LED lights.

With a valid proof of purchase, residents can get $2.50 per screw-in LED light bulb and 10 cents per bulb for holiday lights.

“It is really simple,” Healdsburg Utility Conservation Analyst Felicia Smith said of the application process.

Residents can sign up via the rebate application form that is available online at healdsburg.seamlessdocs.com/f/ResLightReb. Only Healdsburg residents can sign up to receive rebates.

According to a city manager report from City Manager David Mickaelian since 2015, residents have received incentives for almost 1,300 lights from incandescent and energy-saving LED lights.

“A regular bulb has about 40 watts and an LED bulb has about 9 to 12 watts so it is substantially less energy output,” Smith said.

Smith said a household’s lighting typically represents 5% of its total energy use, so using LEDs makes a bit of a difference in terms of energy output.

According to a 2008 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States uses 4.48 billion kilowatt hours per year of electricity from holiday lights. That’s more electricity use than some small countries like Laos or Nepal according to the EIA. 

Smith said that another benefit of using LED lights is that the bulbs do not put off as much heat as regular bulbs, making for better temperature conditions in households.

Those who want to apply for the rebate can do so until Dec. 31. The rebate program will end on the 31st after its almost five-year run.

Smith said the idea for the program was to jumpstart new energy saving technologies that were new to the market and a bit pricey. However, now that LEDs are less costly and more ubiquitous, rebates for the bulbs will come to a close.

Smith said there will likely be a new rebate program for a different energy saving product, such as electric water heaters or induction cooktops.

Currently the city has a program where they will loan out induction cooktops to residents who want to give it a try.

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