KISSIMMEE, Fla., November 15, 2010 – As you prepare for Thanksgiving with family and friends, remember that extra cooking and baking can cause your electric bill to go up.
Kissimmee Utility Authority offers these simple cooking tips to help you keep your energy costs down:
• Don’t open the oven door to take a peek at what’s cooking inside. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside by as much as 25 degrees – which increases cooking time and wastes energy. Instead, turn on the oven light to check the cooking status.
• Place several items in the oven at once. All food will cook thoroughly if you leave enough room around food dishes for air to flow.
• Turn off ovens/stovetops minutes before food is fully cooked. Electric ovens and stovetops retain heat even after you turn them off.
• Choose glass or ceramic pans for the oven. They let you set the temperature 25 degrees lower than metal pans do and will cook just as quickly.
• Use your microwave or toaster oven for those small holiday cooking tasks. A microwave uses about 50 percent less energy than a conventional oven and doesn’t heat up your kitchen. Use a slow cooker (Crock-Pot®) to cook meals, too. It can cook a whole meal for about 17 cents worth of electricity.
• When cooking on top of your range, match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air. A six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the energy.
• Plan ahead when thawing foods. If time allows, thaw foods completely in the refrigerator before cooking. If you are pressed for time, it is more efficient to thaw foods in the microwave than in the oven.
KUA wishes its customers a safe and happy holiday season.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 62,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent