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DECEMBER 2013 F Kilowatt 3 the WAYS TO SAVE


Taking the CHILL Out of Winter Bills


B


etween holiday house guests and shorter, colder days, electric bills tend to climb in the winter.


Read on for ways to save energy when the temperature drops.


Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees (or lower): If you decrease the temperature by just one degree, you can save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Consider a programmable thermostat that you can set to lower the temperature when away from home and increase before you come back.


Adjust blinds and curtains: Keep them open to let in sunlight during the day, and close at night to keep heat inside and protect from drafts.


Reduce hot water temperatures: Heating water accounts for 12 percent of the average home’s energy use. Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees or lower—that’s usually sufficient for a household’s hot-water needs. Also, if you’ve had your water heater for more than 12 years, you might want to consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model.


Seal and insulate: This is the best way to keep heat in and air out. Areas that may need sealing include corners, cracks, door frames, and windows.


Follow the ENERGY STAR: Consider replacing old appliances, doors, and windows with ENERGY STAR-rated models: You can save about 15 percent of your normal energy use with these appliances and get better insulation on doors and windows for the price you pay. ENERGY STAR-rated items meet special efficiency standards set by the federal government.


Free your vents: HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems will have to work twice as hard if vents are blocked by rugs, furniture, or doors. Keep vents clear for proper air flow.


Keep food cool: Don’t make your fridge work too hard. A temperature set between 34 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit is usually sufficient.


A special holiday tip: Use LED lights to decorate. They’re up to 75 percent more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lights and last much longer—but check for an ENERGY- STAR rating before you buy. Cheaper LEDs tend not to last as long or be as durable.


Visit TogetherWeSave.com or kiwash. coop for more ways to save.


Recipe Box


Gourmet Sweet Potatoes INGREDIENTS


5 sweet potatoes 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 cup butter 2 eggs


1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 cup white sugar 2 T. heavy cream 1/4 cup butter, softened 3 T. all-purpose flour 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup chopped pecans


DIRECTIONS


Preheat oven to 350°F..Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.


Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften. Cool slightly, peel, and mash.


In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.


In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.


Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.


Yield: 8 servings.


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