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TheStreet Open House

Don't Let Energy Zombies Gobble Your Energy Usage This Thanksgiving

Stocks in this article: CNA





SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanksgiving is this week and before you know it, you'll be busy preparing that big Thanksgiving meal and your family and friends will be coming over. However, don't let energy zombies be one of your guests. Energy zombies are lurking everywhere in your home, from your cell phone chargers to your computer monitors and even your oven. Zombie electronics are those household appliances and devices that mindlessly use energy and eat away at your energy bill, even when you think they are turned off.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121004/MM87276LOGO)

When it comes to cooking a feast like Thanksgiving, electricity bills can suffer. The average weight per turkey is 16 pounds. It is recommended to cook a thawed, stuffed turkey of that size for at least 4-4.5 hours in an electric oven set at 350 degrees. An electric oven set at 350 degrees for an hour uses 2 kWh of electricity. Therefore, you could be consuming roughly 8 kWh of electricity just to cook your turkey, without including side dishes.

With all of the other additional expenses that the holidays ensue, your monthly electricity bill shouldn't be one of them. Help combat energy zombies in your home that gobble up unnecessary energy consumption while still relishing in all of the food and fun during the holidays. Direct Energy offers the following tips for carving down your kWh usage this Thanksgiving:

  • During the hustle and bustle of the day, don't forget to turn off the oven when you're done cooking and don't leave it on longer than it has to be. Use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
  • Cook with a snug-fitting lid on your pans. This helps to retain the heat, which means you can cook at a lower temperature and for a shorter period of time.
  • Use the microwave in place of the oven, when possible. Microwaves use less than half the power of a regular oven.
  • Open your oven door only when necessary. Each time the oven door is open, 25 to 50 degrees of heat is lost, causing your oven to work harder to regain that lost heat and thus, delaying the cooking process of your turkey.
  • Considering using the dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes because it uses less water.
  • Wash only full loads in the dishwasher and use the air-drying setting if you have it. It reduces the energy use by 7 percent.
  • If you have the oven on all day while food is also cooking on the stove, you can probably turn the heat down in the home a bit. The heat from your oven, not to mention dinner guests, should keep your home warmer than usual, and your furnace won't have to work as hard.
  • Use an ice chest or cooler for drinks if you're hosting a large group. This cuts down on wasting electricity when the refrigerator door is opened and closed frequently.
  • To use your cook-top range as efficiently as possible, choose pots and pans that are relatively the same size as the burner you're cooking on. This is the best way to effectively heat up food without wasting energy.

For more energy saving tips and to see our very own energy zombies, Chunk and Rita Shambles, in action, visit www.youtube.com/thedirectenergy. Direct Energy also has non-Zombie energy experts available for interview if you would like to help them fight the energy zombie apocalypse. Watch the videos and good luck out there.

About Direct EnergyDirect Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with more than 6 million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE:CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada.        

SOURCE Direct Energy

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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