Americans Use More Electricity For Christmas Lights Than Some Developing Countries Consume In An Entire Year


The Center for Global Development has found that Americans use more electricity for their Christmas and holiday lights than some poor countries such as El Salvador, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nepal, or Cambodia, use all year.

A 2008 study from the US Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that decorative seasonal lights accounted for 6.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity consumption every year in the United States. That’s just 0.2% of the country’s total electricity usage, but it could run 14 million refrigerators. In an entire year, El Salvador uses 5.35 billion kilowatt-hours, Ethiopia 5.30 billion, Tanzania 4.8 billion, Nepal 3.28 billion and Cambodia uses 3.06 billion.


In an interview with NPR, researcher Todd Moss, who used data from a 2008 US Department of Energy report and the World Bank to carry out the research, said that the comparison was intended to illustrate the tremendous difference in energy use between rich countries and poor countries as well as to show how little energy poor countries use.

“Some organizations have argued that poor countries should only use renewable energy sources in the future because of global concerns. I have no doubt that sub-Saharan countries, for example, are going to have a very heavy use of renewable energy technologies. But these countries have energy needs that go way beyond what current renewable technologies can deliver. Like every country of the world, poor countries are going to pursue an all-of-the-above strategy, including a mix of hydro, wind, solar, natural gas and geothermal.

“If we force sub-Saharan Africa to use renewables only we are forcing them to remain poor… Lights are something we take for granted, but a lot of countries around the world don’t have enough electricity to run a refrigerator or create jobs. And we should be humble in the kind of advice we give countries about how they should develop energy sources.”

This Article (Americans Use More Electricity For Christmas Lights Than Some Developing Countries Consume In An Entire Year) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and


Get Your Anonymous T-Shirt / Sweatshirt / Hoodie / Tanktop, Smartphone or Tablet Cover or Mug In Our Spreadshirt Shop! Click Here



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here