Serving up energy efficiency

The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives—from virtual classrooms and telecommuting, to toilet paper limits and cooking more meals at home. While no one knows when life will get back to “normal,” staying safe at home provides time to focus on family, learn new things and improve life skills, all while practicing social distancing.

Cooking at home is a great way to spend time with the family, and an opportunity to become more energy efficient. Whipping up delicious meals will mean using your kitchen appliances more often, but it doesn’t have to mean using more energy to cook.

Following these energy-savings tips will help reduce energy while cooking .

• Use less energy by using your toaster oven, slow cooker, pressure cooker and/or electric kettle to make meals instead of your stove or oven.
• Defrost frozen food in the fridge overnight or while you’re working during the day. Defrosting food in advance not only shortens cooking time, it eliminates the need to use a microwave to defrost.
• Prep before you start by seasoning your meat, chop up your vegetables and have your cooking essentials handy before turning on your appliances. • Match the size of the burner to the pot. This will help reduce heat loss and maximize energy-efficient cooking. If using gas, make sure the flame doesn’t reach around the sides of the cookware.
• Keep lids on pots and pans while cooking to prevent heat loss. This will also allow you to use a lower temperature on your stove while cooking.
• If you must prepare something in the oven, consider cooking multiple dishes at once. You may be able to cook an entire meal in the oven without needing to use the stove top, or other appliances.
• Keep the oven door closed while cooking. Ovens lose heat when you open the door and require more energy to get back up to temperature.
• Use glass or ceramic baking dishes in the oven. They retain heat better than their metal counterparts, allowing you to reduce cooking time.
• Turn off the oven a few minutes before the timer goes off—the oven stays hot enough to continue cooking your dish.
• When reheating food, use a microwave or toaster oven, which is more efficient than using your oven or stove top to warm your leftovers.

Making these minor adjustments to your cooking habits can help reduce energy and save money. Being mindful of when and how you use energy will help keep costs under control, which is especially important since your overall energy use may increase as you spend more time at home.

CPS Energy has resources and the expertise to help you manage energy usage. Making small, simple changes to your energy habits can have a big impact on your monthly energy bill collectively. Visit CPS Energy for additional energy saving tips.

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