Save Energy, Spread Cheer

You can be frugal when preparing your holiday feast by taking these simple steps to save energy.

The holidays bring lots of joy—and can take lots of energy! From shopping for gifts to planning parties and making meals, the festive season can be a demanding one for us—and our households. But, a few simple energy-saving tips can save your spending for spreading some holiday cheer .

thanks table

Consider these 12 tips from the Edison Electric Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy:

  • If you're hosting the festivities, lower the thermostat a couple of degrees before guests arrive. People generate heat—as does cooking! Therefore, your space can be cooler since it will warm naturally when guests arrive.
  • Plan your meal and remove all necessary ingredients from the fridge at one time. Each time the door of a refrigerator or freezer is opened, it has to work harder to replace the cold air.
  • Cook with lids on when possible. Tight-fitting lids on pots and pans help keep in heat, enabling you to lower the temperature settings and shorten cooking times.
  • When boiling liquids, start by using the highest temperature settings to reach the boiling point. Then lower the heat and allow the food to simmer until fully cooked.
  • Use the microwave instead of your regular oven whenever possible. Microwaves use less power than a regular oven, and they require cooking for a much shorter period of time.
  • When roasting or baking, avoid opening the oven door. Each time the door is opened, a considerable portion of the oven's heat escapes.
  • When using an electric oven, cook multiple items at once. Foods with different cooking temperatures often can be cooked simultaneously at one temperature—variations of 25°F in either direction still produce good results and save energy.
  • Remember to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, and lower the thermostat when asleep or away. These are good everyday tips for saving energy!
  • Allow hot foods or liquids to cool off before placing them in the refrigerator so the fridge doesn't have to work as hard. Toss any uncooked food that has remained at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Make sure your refrigerator and freezer doors seal tightly to keep cold air in and warm air out. To be sure, close the refrigerator door on a dollar bill. If you can slip the bill out easily, or if it falls out on its own, the door needs to be adjusted or the gasket needs to be replaced.
  • Forget doing the dishes by hand! An ENERGY STAR-certified dishwasher is more efficient and uses less water.
  • Finally, when finished, try to avoid using your oven's "self-cleaning" cycle unless there's a major mess. Wipe up minor spills and splatters by hand when the oven has cooled. If you need to use the self-cleaning feature, start the cycle right away while the oven is hot, or wait until late evening hours when use of electricity is lowest.

MGE thanks you for working to save energy! Saving energy is practicing good environmental stewardship. If we all conserve, we can collectively make an impact, reduce our footprint and save all of us costs in the long term. Be sure to check out more energy-saving tips at energy2030together.com/energyuse.

published: Nov-07-2018