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Energy saving tips for the holiday season

November is the month where you to get into the holiday spirit as you plan Thanksgiving dinners and prepare your houses for the holiday season.

Neighborhoods slowly begin to light up as the weeks get closer to Christmas. However, Christmas lights can often be expensive to maintain. Electrical bills are known to skyrocket during the holiday season.

Caleb Bossert, a Chubbuck Resident, is taking the Thanksgiving week to set up his Christmas decorations.

“I do notice a spike in my electric bills every Christmas, I’m sure a lot of people do,” Bossert said. “But, I actually use timers to save energy.”

He uses light timers to shut off his lights automatically every evening. But that’s not the only thing that can drive up electricity bills during the holiday season.

Dave Spillett, Energy Advisor at Idaho Power, says LED lights can significantly lower your electrical bill.

“If you are going to do Christmas lights, LED is the most efficient way to do it and there are a lot of great options to hang LED Christmas lights,” Spillett said.

However, Christmas decorations aren’t the only thing that can increase your electrical bill. “Another great way to save during this holiday season happens in the kitchen.”

Here are some easy tips for cooking up some savings, no matter what you make for your holiday feast:

Use your microwave whenever possible–it uses about 1/3 the energy of a conventional oven! If you like dipping chocolates, melting chocolate on low power works extremely well. If you toast or roast coconut or nuts for any of your special dishes, your microwave can make quick work of this task with less risk of burning. Load up the oven. When using your oven for the main dish, like a turkey, choose oven side dishes that can cook alongside it in the oven so you don’t have to heat your stovetop as well. Defrost foods before baking or roasting–ideally in the refrigerator since the cold air goes into the refrigerator rather than into your kitchen. When foods are thawed beforehand, it can save up to 50 percent of the total cooking time. Keep your oven door closed Each time you open the door you lose up to 20 percent of the heat Rely on timers and the oven thermostat–or look through the glass window if you have one. For some of us, this means replacing that oven light that’s been burnt out for years Bake in glass or ceramic pans – allows you to reduce oven temperatures by 25 degrees from the recipe. Use Lids & right-size pans. Lids help keep heat in and speed up cooking times. Pans should fit the size of the element. Flat bottoms make better contact with an element Use the smallest appliance to get the job done. Think toaster ovens, crock pots, electric frying pans, etc. And don’t forget that a microwave makes quick work of many small kitchen tasks! Use a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are a staple in kitchens all over the world–they are a quick, energy-efficient way to make a meal. Models like the Instapot are becoming more popular in the U.S.

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