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Tips to Manage your Energy Costs, Obtain Gift Certificates and Stay Safe!


A Holiday Message from Wisconsin Public Service

Green Bay, Wis - Energy use during the holidays traditionally increases, according to records compiled by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. Decorative lighting, longer retail store hours, increased entertaining and home cooking are primary reasons that the demand for electricity increases by an additional two to four percent load on the Public Service electric system. Thatís about 40 to 60 megawatts on a system that is normally operating between 1,800 to 2,000 megawatts on an average day for this time of the year.

The majority of that electric load increase comes from decorative lighting displays on homes. Typical home lighting displays cost from $18 to $60 per month. Some customers with elaborate displays could see electric bills $100 more than their normal bill for the month of December. Customersí bills will reflect their holiday lighting consumption in January.

Customers with internet access are encouraged to take a proactive role in managing higher seasonal bills by keeping energy use down while still feeling good about celebrating the holidays. There is a lot of information, tools, tips, savings calculators and product information available at

For example, prices are dropping for the new extremely energy-efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) light strings as this technology is embraced by customers. LED lights use a solid-state semi-conductor chip to operate and use about one-tenth the electricity of mini-lights and about 80 to 90 percent less than a string of the standard larger-bulb incandescent lights. Using current electric prices and all lighting strings on for six hours every day for one month, a string of 100 LED lights will cost about 10 cents, a string of 100 miniís will cost about $1.00 and a string of 25 larger standard C-7 bulbs will cost about $2.50. Some retailers are offering rebates through the stateís Focus on Energy program as an incentive to purchase LED lights (

Gift Certificates
Public Service Energy Gift Certificates are also growing in popularity. During the months of November and December of last year, nearly 3,000 customers purchased energy gift certificates. The average gift certificate was in the amount of $100. The order form is available online at: Available in any denomination, the Energy Gift Certificates can be used to pay all or a portion of the recipientís Public Service natural gas or electric bill.

Safety Information
Customers can also find safety information online at the Public Service website. Some of the information provided:

* Be careful using ladders in hard-to-reach areas or near power lines.
* Avoid overloading circuits.
* Stay away from power lines with lighting displays.
* Replace older lights with newer, more energy-efficient holiday lights.
* Use a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) for outside displays to ensure safety.


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