For the second year, Claremore Electric wants to light up the lives of its customers in more ways than one.

The City of Claremore, in conjunction with Claremore Electric, are again sponsoring the annual “Claremore Electric Christmas Light” competition, giving members of the community the chance to get something back for giving the Christmas spirit through light displays.

“This is the second year for the competition, started last year by (former Claremore Daily Progress publisher) Dave Story,” said Matt Mueller, Claremore assistant city manager. “Since Christmas lights generate revenue for the Claremore Electric, we felt this would be a positive way to encourage Claremore Electric customers to show their Christmas spirit in a way that could ultimately benefit them, also.”

Persons whose homes are ranked as one of the top three will receive a rebate or credit on their electric bill of $250 (for first place), $150 (for second place) or $100 (for third place), according to utilities director Tim Miller.

“And the contest isn’t only open to Claremore residents but all customers of Claremore Electric,” Miller said. “Last year, we went out by Oologah Lake to judge some homes.”

Categories on which homes will be judged in the contest include spirit of the season, originality, attention to detail, number of lights per lot size, non-lighted items and overall appearance.

“We’ll be taking nominations through 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, then going out to judge the entrants,” Miller said. “Last year, there were ten homes we judged, so we would hope there would be at least that many this year.

“After we’ve looked at all the homes, we’ll make a decision that night and notify the winners the next day,” he said.

Households that won last year’s contest included the Hughes home at 510 Buckingham Drive, the Savage home at 1008 NE Oakridge Drive, and the Spivy and Tah homes, which tied for third place, at 11901 East Kay Place and 215 East Patti Page, respectively.

Although Christmas lights can affect utility bills, Miller suggested investing in a timer to keep electric bills in check.

“The best thing a person could do if they’re going to put out a Christmas light display would be to spend a little money on a timer,” he said. “That way, they won’t have to worry about turning off their Christmas lights and accidentally use more electricity on them than they’d planned.”

But City revenues and contest aside, Mueller said the real winner in the City’s annual lights contest are members of the community.

“From a community image aspect, this (contest) also is extremely beneficial,” Mueller said. “People decorating their homes for the season beautifies the neighborhoods and really adds the Christmas spirit to their home’s curb appeal — we’re looking forward to seeing this year’s entrants.”

A home can be nominated in the “Claremore Electric Christmas Light” competition by calling 341-1325 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by e-mailing the home address, name of the resident and contact information on the submitted address to ssmith@claremorecity.com.