Supporting Customers

How much would it cost to power Clark Griswold’s holiday lights today?

December 20, 2022

The holidays are a great time to get together and watch seasonal movie classics such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, which holds a special place in the hearts of Chicago-area residents. One of the movie’s most iconic scenes is when the main character, Clark Griswold, played by actor Chevy Chase, is determined to have the most festive and brightest house on the block by using 25,000 holiday lights! He succeeds in his mission but, in the process, causes a power outage on his block.

But you don’t need to worry about causing an outage in your area. Each year, ComEd makes significant investments in its the power grid to enhance overall system performance that has led to nation-leading reliability. This involves upgrading, modernizing, and expanding systems to meet the growing needs of our customers and the communities we serve.

Families and businesses with ComEd have experienced fewer power outages on average than customers of any other electric company. In 2022, more than 3.6 million of ComEd’s 4.1 million customers experienced zero or no more than one outage. When ComEd customers did experience an outage last year, their service was restored as fast or faster on average than customers of the other electric companies. So, for all you Clark Griswolds out there, don’t worry about causing an outage with your holiday lights!

Now, you may be asking yourself: how much did it cost Clark Griswold to have the brightest house on the block?

Set in 1989, we can assume the Griswold’s used incandescent holiday lights. If we assume Clark powered those lights for five hours a day for the entire month of December, his electricity bill for the lights alone, based on today’s current rates, is estimated to be $240 a day or $7,462 for the entire month. That’s a lot of money for a single-family home light display!

Luckily for us, today we have the option of LED lights that use 80 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent lights. Combined with ComEd’s already low residential bills, if we replicated Griswold’s display today, it would only cost $52 a day or a total of $1,612 a month.

Also helping to keep holiday energy costs down is the fact that ComEd’s total average monthly residential bill is among the lowest in the nation. The average monthly ComEd residential bill in the fourth quarter of 2022 is among the five lowest customer bills in the nation based on statewide averages.

Still, ComEd continues to offer ways to help customers save even more on their electric bills, while providing industry-leading reliability at some of the lowest costs to customers in the nation.

To learn more about programs that can save you energy and money around the home, visit

ComEd wishes its customers and their families a happy, safe, and energy-efficient holiday season!