Just out of idle curiosity, how much power do all those pretty Christmas decorations consume? A call to ComEd provided the answer: no one knows for sure.
Spokesman Jeff Burdick said there's no way separate the increased power demand for decorations from the increased demand for lights and heat during the long cold winter nights. He said the latter demand was probably larger, though, since "February is usually the month for peak winter demand." Even FEN's groundskeeper (and publisher) has decorations down by then.
ComEd Energy Efficiency specialist Maryl Freestone was able to quantify the power to light one average Christmas tree, though. She said a tree with 1120 Italian lights (from China these days) consumes about 450 watts of energy which works out to about $10.70 cents worth of juice if the lights go up at Thanksgiving and come down before Twelfthnight.
In a pitch for efficiency Freestone said the new LED Christmas lights would only cost $1.60 to operate.