KISSIMMEE, Fla., November 18, 2009 – As you prepare for Thanksgiving and celebrate with family and friends, remember that extra cooking, activities and people in your home can cause your electric bill to go up.
Kissimmee Utility Authority offers these simple kitchen tips to help you keep your energy costs down during the holiday:
• Don’t open the oven door or lift pot lids during cooking. Each time you open the oven door the temperature drops 25-50 degrees. Avoid lifting pot lids for the same reason.
• 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.
• Match the pan size to the size of the stovetop burner so you don’t waste heat. Just a two-inch difference between pan and burner can waste 40 percent of the generated heat.
• Use your microwave oven as much as possible. Microwaves use about half of the electricity of a stove or oven in less time.
• Use your slow cooker to cook meals. It can cook a whole meal for less than 10 cents worth of electricity.
• Wash and dry dishes by hand instead of using your dishwasher.
• 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.
• Keep your refrigerator and freezer well stocked. A full refrigerator or freezer saves energy by reducing the recovery time when the door is opened.
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