Five Energy Efficiency Tips For Your Pennsylvania Thanksgiving Dinner

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Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends shouldn't raise your PA electric bills. Check out our money saving tips!
From turkey to potatoes to pumpkin pie!
Save money on your Thanksgiving dinner with our Pennsylvania energy-saving tips!

How can I save energy on Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania?

Thanksgiving is a unique time of year when it comes to energy usage. While most companies are closed for the day, making their electricity usage and demand during the holidays drop, homes tend to see a peak, particularly around midday when cooking kicks into full gear. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Pennsylvania and other areas in the Mid-Atlantic continue to see some of the highest electricity demand throughout the U.S. on Thanksgiving, only behind California and the Southeast. If you’re looking for ways to cut down on your electricity bill this holiday season, here are a few tips to help you make big savings.

1. Lower your house thermostat.

Expecting a large group of people over for dinner? If you’re inviting friends and family around for Thanksgiving dinner, lower the thermostat a few degrees before everyone arrives. People generate heat, and in enclosed spaces with the oven going there will be more than enough warmth to go around. Save money on your energy bill and create a more comfortable dinner environment by lowering the thermostat a degree or two.

2. Plan dishes to cook alongside the turkey.

Did you know that, according to an experiment run by TXU Energy in Texas, it takes roughly 8 kWh to cook an average turkey? Results can vary depending on oven, turkey size, and also cooking time, but putting your turkey in the oven uses a sizeable amount of your Thanksgiving energy. If you plan other dishes to cook alongside your turkey, however, you can save time and money by getting both done at the same time. This reduces the amount of time your oven is running and saves energy as well.

3. Turn the heat down or off, and no peeking!

The Department of Energy recommends turning the heat down when cooking, because “it’s probably not necessary to have your oven on as long—or set as high—as the recipe calls for.” Longer recipes may not need pre-heating time, and you may be able to turn electric ovens off 5-10 minutes earlier than the recipe calls for. Residual heat will continue to cook the food just fine. It’s also important not to open the oven door to check on the food constantly. Each time you do this, as much as 25 degrees can escape. That means your oven has to work even longer and you’re spending even more money on your electric bill.

4. Use the microwave when possible.

Not everything needs to be cooked in the oven. You can save on your electricity bill this Thanksgiving by using the microwave or slow cooker instead. Microwaves work quickly and use less energy than the oven. According to Energy Star, you can reduce your energy by as much as 80 percent when cooking smaller portions in a microwave.

5. Less rinsing and more dishwashing.

Dishwashers can actually save you money on your energy bill. Rather than washing your Thanksgiving dishes by hand, you can save up to $40 a year by loading them into an Energy Star certified dishwasher. There’s no need for scrubbing or rinsing. The dishwasher will use less than half as much energy as washing the dishes by hand, and save you water on the side. Win-win!

Slash your holiday energy bills and save with PA Energy Ratings!

Follow these five steps you can not only have the best Thanksgiving dinner yet, but save on your electric bills as well. And if you’re looking for even cheaper rates on your electricity in Pennsylvania, you can head over to to learn more and compare plans right now.

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