(NC) Bring holiday cheer to your home and neighbourhood without breaking the bank this year. Use these expert tips from Hydro One to decorate your home safely and with energy efficiency in mind:

1. Check all decorations and cords for signs of wear and tear. Test all lights before decorating.

2. Check to ensure all the lights, cords, plugs, and sockets are CSA approved. Use outdoor or indoor lights appropriately.

3. Keep electrical connections off the ground. Avoid running cords under carpets or rugs.

4. Nails and tacks can damage extension cords or strings of lights. Use eave clips or insulated staples to avoid damage.

5. Do other lights in the house dim when you plug in decorations? If so, the circuit is overloaded and could pose a safety risk.

6. Inflatable decorations often require an electric fan running 24 hours a day. Choose decorations that are free standing or put the electric fan on a timer to only inflate decorations during certain times of the day.

7. Make the switch to LED lights, which use 80 per cent less energy than their incandescent counterparts. LED light strings also last up to 50,000 hours and 10 times longer than the old incandescent light strings.

Find more energy savings tips at www.hydroone.com/saveenergy.