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US Holidays Lights Use More Electricity Than Some Countries

FILE - The Christmas light display in Dyker Heights, New York, attracts 100,000 visitors each year.

To mark the holidays, many American households decorate with brightly colored lights, but a recent report says the energy used to power them is more than several countries use in an entire year.

Writing in a blog post, the Center for Global Development said seasonal decorative lights account for 6.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, that is more than the national electricity consumption of El Salvador, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nepal or Cambodia.

Holiday lights only account for .2 percent of total electricity use in the U.S., but that is still enough to power 14 million refrigerators, the center said.

The Center for Global Development used data from a 2008 U.S. Department of Energy report and the World Bank to reach its conclusions, the posting said.

Lighting in general accounts for 14 percent of the U.S. consumption of residential electricity, it said.