Maritime Electric, P.E.I.'s main electric utility, has collected more than 2,000 incandescent Christmas light strings in an attempt to get people using less energy.

Over the last three weeks the utility has been offering $5 a set for the lights.

Kim Griffin - custom

This has been Maritime Electric's best year for collecting incandescent light strings yet, says spokeswoman Kim Griffin. (CBC)

"Really the motive has been to try and help us reduce the lighting load at Christmas," said utility spokeswoman Kim Griffin.

"The old incandescent lights are huge in terms of the energy that they use compared to LED lights."

Some of the highest peak loads of the year come around Christmas time, and the utility needs to be certain it has the capacity to cover peak usage. The $10,000 it has spent in the last three weeks is small change compared to the cost of ensuring peak usage is covered.

In previous years Maritime Electric has offered coupons for discounts for LED lights. This year, with cash offered, has been the most successful campaign yet. Maritime Electric has even had to open on weekends to keep up with the demand.

Kathie Stevenson, who traded in some light strings Thursday, had already decided what she is going to do with the money.

"I'll go get new ones and use them instead," she said.

The campaign ends on Friday.