Tuesday 20 December 2016 11:44 am

Ho-ho-how much? This is the energy cost of cooking Christmas dinner, leaving the lights on and working from home

We're all aware that the festive season puts a strain on our wallets, but thanks to new research you can be rest assured it puts added pressure on your energy bills too. 

The average household can spend up to £50 extra on gas and electricity in December as parties get underway, turkeys get basted and Christmas lights are plugged in, according to GoCompare Energy.

Read more: Brits have lost their taste for these favourites of Christmas past

Cooking Christmas dinner leaves the UK with a collective £15m energy bill, as the average turkey takes five hours of oven time to cook, costing a household around £1.50 to power. (To put that in perspective, it's 1.5 times more than a family's standard electricity bill for an entire day.)

Christmas lights, despite looking innocent and harmless, cost a whopping £3.75m a day to leave on. 

Read more: It’d be a Christmas miracle if Hammond delivered these festive reforms

Extra time at home between 22 December and 2 January costs a household around £20 in heating and electricity more than if they were at work during this time – perhaps this is a good excuse to go back to work if you're getting tired of all that family time. 

Ben Wilson of GoCompare Energy said:

Christmas really is a time of joy, so worrying about your energy bill is the last thing most families want to do.

Our research highlights that, while it may not seem a lot per household, the combined impact of increased Christmas energy usage can make a huge difference to the UK’s overall output. Reducing carbon emissions is hugely important in offsetting global warming, so we all have a personal responsibility to do our part and reduce our energy output when possible.

Switching Christmas tree lights off when no one is in the room and finding more energy efficient ways to cook some of the dinner (e.g. steaming) have been touted as possible solutions. 

Read more: This is how much stingier Brits will be with Christmas presents this year

Even if you manage to keep energy consumption low at Christmas itself, many UK households could be starting 2017 with higher energy bills by not switching to cheaper dual fuel tariffs that finish at the end of this month.