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PAGE 2 | NOVEMBER 2014


Unwrap Winter Energy Savings


BY AMBER BENTLEY, NRECA T


he holidays just around the corner! It’s that special time of year when a great deal of time is spent with friends and family, either in the kitchen or out and about shopping for the perfect gift.


As the excitement of the holidays builds, TCEC reminds members of a few ways to be energy efficient during this busy time of year.


Cooking efficiently • Be kind to the oven. Every time the oven door is opened


to check on a dish, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees. This forces the oven to use more energy in order to get back to the proper cooking temperature. Try keeping the door closed as much as possible. Also, remember to take advantage of residual heat for the last five to 10 minutes of baking time – this is another way to save energy use. If using a ceramic or glass dish, temperatures 25 degrees lower than stated are typically okay, since these items hold more heat than metal pans.


• Give stove-top burners some relief. The metal reflectors under


the stovetop burners should always be clean. If not, this will prevent the stove from working as effectively as it should.


• Utilize small appliances. During the holidays, the main Home efficiency • Take advantage of heat from the sun. Open curtains during


the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the home, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.


• Find and seal all air leaks. Check areas near pipes, gaps


around chimneys, cracks near doors and windows and any unfinished places.


• Maintain the home’s heating system. Schedule services for


heating systems before it gets too cold to find out what maintenance may be needed to keep systems operating efficiently.


• Eliminate “vampire energy” waste. When an appliance or an Efficient shopping • Purchase LED holiday lights. A string of traditional lights EFFICIENCY COOKING TIPS. PHOTO SOURCE: AMERICAN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES.


uses 36 watts of power and a string of LED lights only uses 5 watts. They can even last up to 10 times longer!


• Ask for Energy Star-rated TVs and appliances. This will save a


lot of power use because the standby-mode is lower and the device will use less energy overall.


• Combine errands to reduce the number of small trips. To-do


lists seem to pile up around this time of the year. Believe it or not, several short trips in the winter can use twice as much fuel as one longer trip covering the same distance as all of the shorter ones.


Being energy efficient is usually not top priority when celebrating the holidays, and most of us don’t realize the lack of efficiency until the next bill comes in. Prevent post-holiday shock this year by thinking creatively and remembering all of these tips! n


Amber Bentley writes on energy efficiency issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.


electronic is not in use, unplug it to save energy. Power strips are definitely a good investment.


appliances used are the oven and stovetop. Try using a slow cooker, microwave, toaster oven or warming plate more often. This will result in substantial energy savings.


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