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Holiday meals & family gatherings warm you up, but is energy savings on the menu?   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Energy Efficiency

Yesterday morning I jogged the Jingle Bell Run in downtown Spokane. Luckily it wasn’t as snowy and cold as last year, but nonetheless it was chilly enough to make the family want to eat something warm when we got home.  I chose to put some pork chops in the slow cooker and later mix in some veggies and rice for one of those simple quickie meals that fills you up, but also reminds you that it’s winter outside and it’s nice to be indoors.

Quick meals aren’t going to be the norm for most of us for the next few weeks. With Thanksgiving and many other holiday gatherings fast approaching, you probably aren’t going to get away with a quickie dinner like I made. If your house is anything like mine – Thanksgiving dinner is a production, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that.

One thing you might want to keep in mind during the holidays is that little choices about how you cook can save you money on your energy bill. We put a number of holiday cooking energy tips here, but a few of the one’s I will be watching out for are: using the right size burner on the stove; using the microwave when possible instead of the stove and making sure that the dishwasher is totally full before running it. I also like to keep the oven propped open a little after cooking so that heat warms the house instead of just burning off inside (not recommended with kids around though).

These might seem like little things that don’t make much of a difference, but trust me – little things add up.

That goes for other items this winter as well. When the kids are home during winter break, make sure they know that wearing long pants and a sweater are better than cranking the heat to 78! If you have guests over for a few days remember that you’ll be using more hot water for dishes, showers and maybe even keeping the heat a little warmer to ensure they are comfortable.

You can’t avoid those expenses because they come with the joy of being around friends and family, but when you get your bill, just reflect on how energy was used during the billing cycle. I bet you’ll be able to point out a few reasons besides the cold weather for any changes.

Hope you have a great holiday season.
Post by Dan Kolbet
Posted by  System Account  on  11/22/2009
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