Turkey dinner

The holiday season that stretches from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is synonymous with good food. Amid all that cooking for big holiday meals and celebrations, there are plenty of ways to be energy efficient in the kitchen.

One of the first tips is among the easiest, especially when leftovers are involved.

“Keep your refrigerator stocked full,” said Tucson Electric Power’s Armando Ruiz, Senior Tech Specialist in TEP’s Residential Energy Efficiency Program. “The food will help maintain the temperature inside the refrigerator so the compressor will have to run less.”

When cooking, be mindful of the energy it takes to heat the stove and do what you can to get the most use out of it while it’s hot. If there’s space, cook multiple dishes at the same time rather than using additional energy to maintain the oven temperature for a longer period of time.

“You can also turn off the oven earlier and take advantage of the existing hot air,” Ruiz said. “You can still cook in the ambient air temperature.”

When it comes time to clean up, make sure the dishwasher has a full load before starting the cycle. Use energy-saving cycles whenever possible and make sure to use the no-heat air-dry feature, or turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse cycle.

“Full capacity is a common theme, whether it’s cooking, cleaning or storage,” Ruiz said.

And don’t forget that when spending time in the kitchen, the lights will be shining, so take advantage of TEP’s ENERGY STAR Lighting Program, which offers discounts on energy-saving LED and CFL bulbs. These bulbs offer significant energy savings over traditional incandescent bulbs.

U.S. Department of Energy estimates show that by switching to energy-efficient lighting, residential customers can save up to $50 per year or more, depending on the bulbs they choose.

So when roasting the turkey or baking a pie, a little more attention to the energy you use can put you on the path to energy savings.

Any time of year, TEP customers can take advantage of an array of programs designed to boost residential energy efficiency. Customers can receive rebates for purchasing new ENERGY STAR® air conditioners and heat pumps and incentives for installing variable speed pool pumps.

For more information, visit: beta.tep.com/efficiency.

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