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US Christmas lights consume more energy than entire countries

Bright lights strung on American trees, rooftops and lawns account for 6.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity consumption every year, which is more than annual electricity consumption of countries like El Salvador (5.35 billion kilowatt hours), Ethiopia (5.30 billion kW-h)and (Tanzania 4.81 billion kW-h).

world Updated: Dec 24, 2015 21:29 IST
A file picture of Christmas lights at a home in Alexandria, Virginia.  American household Christmas lights, a favorite holiday tradition, use up more electricity than some poorer countries such as El Salvador or Ethiopia  do in a year.
A file picture of Christmas lights at a home in Alexandria, Virginia. American household Christmas lights, a favorite holiday tradition, use up more electricity than some poorer countries such as El Salvador or Ethiopia do in a year. (AFP)

Christmas lights bring that festive cheer on everyone’s face, right? Well, they might seem to you after reading this report.

American household Christmas lights, a favorite holiday tradition, use up more electricity than some poorer countries -- such as El Salvador or Ethiopia -- do in a year.

Bright lights strung on American trees, rooftops and lawns account for 6.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity consumption every year, according to a recent blog post by the Center for Global Development.

That’s more than the national electricity consumption of many developing countries. El Salvador for one, uses 5.35 billion kilowatt hours, while Ethiopia consumes 5.30 billion and Tanzania 4.81 billion.

A worker attaching a star on a Christmas tree in Hawaii, where US President Barack Obama and the First Family are spending their vacation. (AFP)

The researchers, Todd Moss and Priscilla Agyapong, used data from a 2008 US Department of Energy report and the World Bank to carry out their research.

They added that the 6.63 billion kilowatt hours used by US Christmas lights represents only 0.2% of yearly US energy consumption, or enough power to run 14 million refrigerators.