DEP Energy Tree Kickoff Celebration Set for Friday


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As your holiday lights go up this year, your electric bill doesn’t have to. Let the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) show you how to use less electricity and save money on Friday, Dec. 16, at the kickoff of the agency’s Energy Tree display. s Energy Tree display. s Energy Tree display. s Energy Tree display. The celebration will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at DEP headquarters in Charleston.

The display allows visitors to provide the power, via hand crank, to light up a traditional 100-bulb incandescent tree or an 800-plus-bulb, 35-foot light-emitting diode (LED) tree draped to the side of the building. By turning the crank, citizens can better understand the difference in the amount of electricity (energy) it takes to light up each tree.

The event also will showcase other energy-related displays, including a solar racetrack, energy house and an “indoor” version of the crank generator. Refreshments will be served, and DAQ staff will be on hand to answer questions. Also, Santa is expected to attend the party – so be sure to bring the kids and plan to take some photos!

LED lights use 90 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent lights and last up to 50,000 hours. Less energy use equals less pollution. Other advantages of LED holiday lights include:
    • The ability to connect up to 43 premium strands together, compared to five premium strands of incandescent lights;
    • Since their color is in the diode and plastic, the lights will never fade, chip or peel like traditional lights;
    • LEDs operate at lower temperatures, reducing the risk of fire; and
    • While LED holiday lighting may be more expensive initially than traditional         
       incandescent lighting, LED lights will pay for themselves in a few seasons with lower   
       electric bills.

“When we first started the display in 2013, LED holiday lights were a novelty due to availability and cost,” said DAQ Director Fred Durham. “That’s not the case anymore. One of the big home improvement stores had 70-count LED light sets on sale for just $3.98 this year. Those lights should burn for years.”

For more DEP news and information, go to Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about our REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan), West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.



Kelley Gillenwater
304-926-0499, ext. 1331