PHOTOS: Christmas-mad Essex dad covers house in lights despite electricity cost rise

PHOTOS: Christmas-mad Essex dad covers house in lights despite electricity cost rise <i>(Image: SWNS)</i>
PHOTOS: Christmas-mad Essex dad covers house in lights despite electricity cost rise (Image: SWNS)

A Christmas-mad dad who adorns every inch of house with lights said he'll never stop "no matter what" - despite 25% electricity cost increase.

Festive fanatic Paul Bibby, 57, lights up his street in Chelmsford, with his incredible light display every year - and 2022 is no different.

For the past 17 years, carer Paul has made a name for himself in the local area for it - with each year getting bigger and better than the one before.

This year saw him string up 30,000 lights as well as several giant inflatable decorations including an eight foot tall Santa, penguin and nutcracker.

He said energy price hikes this year means the display alone will cost him £8 a day to run - a 25% rise on 2021.

Echo: Some of the amazing lights
Echo: Some of the amazing lights

Some of the amazing lights (Image: SWNS)

But he "doesn't care about the cost" and will do it each year "no matter what" because he wants to make people smile - and raise money for charity.

Paul, who lives with partner Linda Cummings, 59, and son Aaron Bibby, 35, said: "It's a lot of work putting them up and taking them down, but I love doing them.

"People walk past and tell me they have never seen anything like it.

Echo: Paul asks for donations for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance
Echo: Paul asks for donations for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

Paul asks for donations for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance (Image: SWNS)

"It's always worth doing because I ask for donations for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, and because they make people so happy.

"I knew it would be more expensive this year, but I don't care about the cost.

"Nothing would have stopped me doing my lights."

Echo: Aaron and Paul Bibby outside the home
Echo: Aaron and Paul Bibby outside the home

Aaron and Paul Bibby outside the home (Image: SWNS)

Paul started his tradition 17 Christmases ago with a single string of Christmas lights on his home - and he got the bug.

Each year he aimed to make his display bigger than the last - and it now draws spectators from up to 20 miles away.

While the house is totally free to visit, he asks people to consider donating to his local ambulance service - which he says is a "fantastic cause" and makes it worth it.

Echo: The huge display in Chelmsford
Echo: The huge display in Chelmsford

The huge display in Chelmsford (Image: SWNS)

Last year he raised £850 for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance - because the display brought in up to £60 per day in donations.

He said: "I know everything has gone up in price - I never saw myself paying £4.50 for a pack of butter!

"But I'll do my lights every year and I don't even care about the cost because people love it and it's a good cause.

"People around here probably think I'm crazy - but I love doing it because just want to make people happy.

"I'll carry on until I'm too old to get up the ladder!"

Echo: Some of the lights
Echo: Some of the lights

Some of the lights (Image: SWNS)