(Dodge County) With folks across the country and state busy preparing that Thanksgiving feast, Alliant Energy is pointing out that regardless of what’s on the table, everyone will be using the same ingredient: energy. Alliant Energy Vice President of Customer Operations Linda Mattes says when compared to all the other ingredients for the big holiday meal, energy is one of the lowest cost items. 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 $1.43 in electricity costs, up five cents from last year. If you use natural gas, that cost is averaging 40-cents to prepare, up around three cents.
Alliant Energy has compiled a list of energy saving tips:
- Let the furnace rest. If your holiday cooking doesn’t heat up your house, your guests will. Turn your thermostat down three to five degrees to save energy while staying 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.
- 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. This Thanksgiving resist the urge to open the oven door and check the meal. One open of the door will decrease the temperature inside by 25 degrees. This means your oven has to use more energy to stay on temperature.
- 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 the microwave. Efficient microwaves use about half the energy of conventional ovens.
- 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. Fill your dishwasher and you will use less hot water than doing dishes by hand.