KISSIMMEE, Fla., December 21, 2:30 pm — December is a great time of year to get together with family and friends. Out-of-town guests gather to celebrate the holidays. Along with the guests, there are usually special meals to prepare and extra activities to plan. What you may not realize is the extra cooking, activities and people in your home can cause your electric bill to go up.
Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) offers these simple tips to help you keep your energy costs down during the holidays:
* When baking, set the oven dial at the exact temperature you intend to use. The oven won’t heat up any faster at a higher setting.
* Don’t preheat the oven unless the recipe calls for it specifically.
* Don’t open the oven door unnecessarily. Every time you do, the temperature drops about 25-30 degrees, and more energy is used to generate the desired level of heat.
* Turn the oven off about five minutes before items are done to let the remaining heat complete the job.
* Use the lowest possible heat setting to cook foods on top of the range. Match the pot to the size of the surface unit. If the surface unit’s too large, electricity is wasted and food won’t cook any quicker.
* When you can, use the range top or microwave oven because they use less energy than a conventional oven.
* Use lids on pots and pans on the stove to prevent heat loss.
* When cooking, use no more water than you need. More time and energy is needed to heat extra water.
* When baking, fill the oven with as many items as can be cooked at one time. Bake double or triple batches of recipes at one time to save energy.
* Use glass baking dishes in the oven when possible. Glass retains heat better than other materials, so it helps food cook faster, and you can reduce oven temperature by about 25 degrees.
* Allow hot food to cool before placing it in a refrigerator or freezer. Your appliance will have to work harder to cool down hot food.
* Keep the refrigerator full, but not overcrowded. Empty or nearly empty refrigerators do not operate efficiently. Freezers, however, work best when full.
* Never attempt to use an oven as a source of home heating.
KUA is Florida’s 7th largest community-owned utility serving 53,000 electric, water and Internet customers in four Central Florida counties. KUA is celebrating its 100th year of serving the community in 2001.
Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116