How to Keep Energy Bills in Check This Season

During the holidays, our homes play a starring role, providing the backdrop for big family meals and lavish parties. Unfortunately, this often leads to increased energy bills as we turn up the heat, do more cooking and string lights inside and out.

There are several simple tips and tools, however, that can lead to energy savings during the holiday season. Try these energy efficiency ideas from Georgia Power as you prepare to welcome family and friends.

Maximize your oven. Keep your oven door shut when cooking a turkey or roast. Even opening the door for a glimpse can set the temperature back, causing your oven to go into overdrive and work harder. Cook multiple dishes at one time in the oven, if possible.

Use glass and ceramic baking dishes. These dishes retain heat better than metal, allowing you to reduce the oven temperature by up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Utilize your stove. Many of your holiday favorites can be made on the stove top, resulting in less energy consumed. Remember to keep your pots and pans covered to prevent heat loss and to keep your burners clean.

Put the microwave to use. The microwave can be used to quickly and efficiently heat or reheat many items, and it also uses much less energy than a conventional oven.

Fry flameless. If you’re frying a turkey, consider a multi-function electric turkey fryer, which involves no flames and can be used indoors, or taken outside for the day to help keep heat out of the kitchen. Follow all manufacturer instructions when using a gas or electric fryer.

Rethink your thermostat. Install a smart programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the home's temperature settings when you are away from the house and save up to $100 a year in energy costs. Keeping your home at 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the cooler months will also help you save money on your monthly bill. When you have a crowded house for holiday gatherings, with stoves and ovens in use, you can often lower the thermostat by several degrees and still remain comfortable.

These simple strategies will ensure that you’re able to entertain to your delight without getting stuck with a big bill the following month.

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