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Control Energy Costs While Preparing Holiday Feasts Cooking Efficiently


The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that cooking accounts for 4 percent of total home energy use, and this figure doesn’t include the energy costs associated with refrigeration, hot water heating, and dishwashing. As holiday parties and potlucks gear up, keep these tips in mind to control energy costs: Don’t peek. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, forcing it to use more energy to get back to the proper cooking temperature. Turn it down or turn it off. For regu- lar cooking, it’s probably not necessary to have your oven on as long—or set as high—as the recipe calls for. For recipes that need to bake for longer than an hour, pre-heating the oven isn’t necessary. And residual heat on an electric oven or stovetop will finish the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking time. Just remember to keep the oven door closed or the lid on until time is up. Alter- nately, if you’re baking in a ceramic or glass dish, you can typically set your oven for 25 degrees less than the recipe calls for. Because ceramic and glass hold heat better than metal pans, your dish will cook just as well at a lower temperature.


Give your burners a break. For your stovetop to function effectively, it’s


Make good use of your slowcooker, microwave, or toaster oven to save energy.


important that the metal reflectors under your electric stove burners stay free of dirt and grime. Don’t neglect your slowcooker. Or your microwave, toaster oven, or warm- ing plate. For example, the average toaster oven can use up to half the en- ergy of the average electric stove over the same cooking time. Information to help you estimate how much energy your own appliances use is available on EnergySavers.gov.


Give your furnace the day off. In Control Prepaid Metering Program from LREC


Be in control with a prepaid metering account and get instant information about your power usage and no more billing surprises! To learn more or sign-up for prepaid metering call 918-772-2526 or visit our website www.lrecok.coop.


2 LREC Powerline Press If your next party involves a lot of work Source: U.S. Department of Energy


for your stove, think about turning down your furnace to compensate. The heat of the oven and all those guests will keep the temperature comfortable. Make contact. Electric stovetops can only transmit heat to pans they are in direct contact with; the less contact your pan has with the burner, the more energy the stovetop will have to expend to heat the pan. If cooking with your warped pan is taking longer than it should, it may be time for a new pan.


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