Pensioner scales down his Christmas light show as rising electricity bills take toll

Eric Marshall stands in his garden of Christmas lights in Bagby, Thirsk. Picture: PA

Eric Marshall stands in his garden of Christmas lights in Bagby, Thirsk. Picture: PA

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A PENSIONER who has been raising money by impressively illuminating his house every Christmas for the past two decades is going green to save cash.

Eric Marshall has raised thousands of pounds for good causes by lighting up his home in the North Yorkshire village of Bagby.

But Eric, who will celebrate his 73rd birthday on Wednesday, admitted that he is now having to scale back the time he can leave the lights on amid the soaring cost of energy bills. He is now turning off the lights at least two hours earlier each evening and is increasingly using energy-saving LED displays.

Research shows the average energy bill in the UK has soared by more than 150 per cent since 2004, and Eric has estimated that it now costs him over £300 to keep the lights on from 1 December to 12 January.

He said: “It is costing more and more each year, but I will continue for as long as I can because the lights raise money for such good causes. But I am having to look at ways to save money, because it is proving to be so expensive. Everyone always talks about a white Christmas, but I am having to look to a greener Christmas by using LED lights and switching the lights off earlier.

“However, the display has become such a big part of Christmas not just for me but for the hundreds of visitors we get every year that I intend to try and carry on for a couple of years yet.”

Eric’s festive landmark attracts visitors from across Yorkshire and the North of England.

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