Energy makes preparing your holiday meal easy as pie

Of all the ingredients needed to make a holiday meal, energy will be one of the lowest cost items for our customers.

“We’re thankful we can power the holiday traditions for more than one million customers,” said Patricia Kampling, President and CEO of Alliant Energy. “We know how important electricity and natural gas are to making this meal possible.”

Energy infographicThe cost of a turkey feast changes every year. The same is true for the cost of energy needed to cook the meal. This year, the American Farm Bureau Federation figures the average Thanksgiving meal for ten people will cost $49.41.

For our customers the 2014 cost of electricity to make that meal averages $1.42. If you are using gas appliances, the cost averages $0.49.

Here’s a breakdown of the individual costs:

Thanksgiving meal Electricity cost Natural gas cost
16 lb. stuffed turkey roasted in an oven for 3.5 hours $0.81 $0.29
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 $0.12 $0.04
Green bean casserole baked in an oven for 30 minutes $0.11 $0.04
Two pumpkin pies baked in an oven for one hour $0.23 $0.08
Total energy cost $1.42 $0.49

We’re always striving to find more ways to be energy-efficient. So we put together a list of some of the easiest ways to do Thanksgiving efficiently.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Don’t overlook the microwave. Efficient microwaves use about half the energy of conventional ovens.
  4. Use glass or ceramic pans. They heat faster than metal pans, and you can lower the temperature by 25 degrees, reducing energy use.
  5. 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.
  6. Shut the 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Clean while it’s hot. If your oven needs a self-cleaning cycle, do it while the oven is still hot.
  9. Run a full load. Fill your dishwasher and you will use less hot water than doing them by hand.

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