(Dodge County) Even with traditional holiday gatherings taking a different look this year with the pandemic, Alliant Energy is pointing out that cooks across the Midwest still rely on one universal ingredient: energy. Alliant Energy Vice President of Customer Operations Linda Mattes says even though there may be fewer friends and family at the table this Thanksgiving the value of a safe, reliable and affordable electric or natural gas remains the same. Creating a typical Thanksgiving meal including a 16-pound turkey stuffed and roasted, a pan of mashed potatoes with gravy, handmade dinner rolls, a green bean casserole, and two pumpkin pies this year requires only about $1.56 in electricity costs, up 13-cents from last year. If you use natural gas, that cost is averaging 37-cents to prepare, down around three-cents.
Alliant Energy has compiled a list of energy saving tips:
- Let the furnace rest. Your holiday cooking will likely heat up the house. Turn your thermostat down three to five degrees to save energy and you’ll still be comfortable.
- Skip the preheat. The turkey is traditionally stuffed early in the morning and roasted for hours. When cooking meats or dishes for several hours, there is no need to preheat your oven.
- Use glass or ceramic pans. They heat faster than metal pans, and you can lower the temperature by 25 degrees, reducing energy use.
- Electric stovetops can only transmit heat to items they’re in direct contact with. Keep pots and pans centered over the burner and consider replacing “wobbly” or warped cookware.
- Cooking together saves energy. Cook as much of your meal at one time as possible. Foods with different cooking temperatures can be cooked together, if the temperature difference is less than 25 degrees.
- Close the oven door. Resist the urge to open the oven door and check the meal. Each time you open the door, it will decrease the temperature inside by 25 degrees. This means your oven has to use more energy to stay on temperature. If you need to check on a dish, use the oven window instead.
- Coast to the finish. Food keeps cooking even after you turn off the burner. When food is almost ready, turn off the oven or burners and let existing heat finish the cooking for you.
- Don’t overlook microwaves, multicookers, crockpots, air fryers and toaster ovens. They all use about half the energy of a conventional oven.
- Clean while it’s hot. If your oven needs a self-cleaning cycle, do it while the oven is still hot.
- Run a full load in the dishwasher and you will use less hot water than doing dishes by hand.
|Thanksgiving meal||Electricity cost (avg)||Natural gas cost (avg)|
|16 lb. stuffed turkey roasted in an oven for 3.5 hours||$0.89||$0.22|
|Pan of mashed potatoes cooked on the stove for 20 minutes||$0.10||$0.02|
|Gravy cooked on the stove for 10 minutes||$0.05||$0.01|
|Dinner rolls baked in the oven for 30 minutes||$0.13||$0.03|
|Green bean casserole baked in an oven for 30 minutes||$0.13||$0.03|
|Two pumpkin pies baked in an oven for one hour||$0.26||$0.06|
|Total energy cost||$1.56||$0.37|