Holiday Savings

The rich scents of roasting turkey, cinnamon-laced apples, pumpkin pie, and tangy cranberries can mean only one thing... the oven is on, the blender is whirring and the dishwasher is working overtime to keep up with holiday preparations.

As you trim your turkeys this holiday season, trim your holiday electric bill too. Here are a few tips for saving energy and dollars:
  • There is no need to preheat the oven before sliding in a turkey or ham that will cook for hours - even if the recipe calls for it.
  • Instead of opening the oven door to check on your juicy bird's progress, turn on the oven light and peek through the glass in the door. Every time you open the door, heat pours out, lowering the temperature in the oven by as much as 25°F, and makes the oven work harder by increasing the cooking time and wasting energy.
  • Make room next to the turkey for pies and casseroles so they'll bake at the same time and save energy, but make sure you leave enough room for heat to circulate around each casserole and pie plate.
  • Turn your electric oven and stove top elements off near the end of the cooking time. Their residual heat will finish cooking your meal.
  • Clean burners and reflectors provide better heating, while saving energy.
  • If you use glass or ceramic bakeware, you can turn your oven temperature down 25°F, and the food will cook just as quickly.
  • Choose pots and pans that are the same size as the stove's burner for efficient stove top cooking. Pans that are too small allow the heat to escape from the uncovered part of the coil. Believe it or not, a six inch pan on an eight inch burner will waste over 40% of the energy!
  • Consider cooking your turkey outdoors on a grill for an unexpected autumn treat.
  • Don't overlook the other cooking appliances. Fast and efficient microwave ovens use around 50% less energy than conventional ovens and don't heat up your kitchen. Consider using them to bake yams, steam your favorite fresh vegetables, or heat up leftover turkey and gravy for a midnight snack. Crock-pots, on average, will cook a whole meal for about 17 cents worth of electricity. Electric skillets cans team, fry, saute, stew, bake etc., - and some can double as serving dishes.
  • Remove all of the refrigerated items you'll need for a recipe at once so you can open the refrigerator door less often.
  • Fully load your dishwasher before running it. Set its energy-saving features and use a cold-water rinse.