Cooking Doesn't Have to Use a Lot of Energy

Florida Power & Light Company of Juno Beach, Fla., offers a number of tips on how to conserve energy while cooking during the holiday season.

It takes a lot of energy – both physical and electrical – to prepare meals for family and friends during the holidays. Whether you’re cooking a special holiday meal or baking cookies for an office potluck, keep these tips in mind to minimize your electricity usage in the kitchen:

  • Don’t waste energy by unnecessarily pre-heating your oven. Some foods, such as bread and desserts, require preheating, but holiday meal staples such as turkey and ham don’t.
  • Keep the oven door closed. Ovens lose lots of heat when opened and require significant energy to heat back up to the appropriate temperature. Instead of opening the door to check on your food, turn on the interior light and look through the oven’s window.
  • Oven-bake as many items together as you can. Although some items may cook at different temperatures, many items can be cooked at a standard temperature.
  • Use smaller appliances such as crock-pots, microwaves and toaster ovens when possible. These can be much more energy-efficient for side dishes or small meals.
  • Match the size of your pan to the size of the heating element. For example, when using an electric cook top, a 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the heat produced by the burner.
  • Choose glass or ceramic pans for the oven. These pans heat faster than metal ones and allow you to set the temperature 25 degrees lower than a recipe suggests for the same cooking time.
  • When possible, cover your pots and pans. This can help cook your food more quickly and keeps the cooking temperature higher, which allows you to turn down the stove.
  • Only use as much water as you need in a pot. Every extra drop requires more energy to heat and increases the cooking time.

Florida Power & Light Company is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. It serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with nearly 11,000 employees.

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