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Have an energy efficient and water conscious holiday season

November 02, 2023 Ashley Cissna, EWEB Communications

As we move into the holiday season, you are probably thinking about fun plans with friends and family, holiday travel and planning your new year’s resolutions. You probably aren’t thinking about how the holidays can impact your electric and water usage. It is common to see an increase in both water and electric charges due to spending more time at home, having guests and preparing meals to share.

Whether you are celebrating a special holiday or simply enjoy sharing a meal with friends, we’ve got tips and tricks to help you save water and energy this holiday season.

‘Tis the season to save energy in the kitchen

  • Watch that door – minimize how many times you open your refrigerator and freezer by removing all the ingredients you need at one time. Each time the door is opened the unit must work harder to replace the cold air that got out.
  • Cook as much of your meal at one time to avoid your oven pulling double duty. You can adjust the cooking temperature and still produce good results while saving energy.
  • Keep a lid on it – using tight fitting lids and avoiding the temptation to peek inside helps keep the heat in, which shortens the cook time.
  • The same is true for your oven, avoid opening the oven door to check progress on dishes roasting or baking. As heat escapes cook times increase.
  • Try a non-bake recipe. With your oven working overtime, try making a no-fuss, no-bake dessert or side. Bonus points if it can be made in advance to alleviate some day of stress.
  • Put your other appliances to work. Who said the oven needs to be the MVP of every gathering? There are plenty of other appliances you can utilize to save time and energy:
    • Electric kettles can quickly boil water in a couple of minutes.
    • Instant pots and slow cookers are workhorses for soups and sides.
    • Microwaves can be the unsung hero for quick needs – like defrosting meat and melting butter.
  • Make it a potluck – ask guest to bring their favorite holiday dishes so you spread the energy and workload!

Using the stove or oven over a period of time can increase the temperature of your home, plan ahead and reduce your thermostat to accommodate the heat generated from cooking and the additional guests in your home. If you have a Smart Thermostat, check to see if it has a feature to monitor home occupancy and auto-adjusts for you. EWEB now has a Smart Thermostat program for qualifying electric customers.

Be water conscious while cooking

The holidays bring a lot more of everything – friends, family, food, dishes…water waste. With everything that is going on it is easy to overlook the amount of water that goes into the additional tasks we take on this time of year. Remembering a few of these water conservation tips can help you save money by saving water.

  • Implement a one-cup-and-plate policy. When guests arrive, have them pick their dishes for the entirety of the event. You can get creative with paint markers and glass charms to keep track of whose is whose.
    • Got a guest who doesn’t want to put dessert on a dirty plate, give it a quick wipe with a towel.
  • Re-use your water. Fill a bowl with water to rinse veggies and fruit, when you are done you can use it to water household plants. Boiling veggies for dinner, use the leftover water for vegetable stock. Half full water glasses can fill the pet bowl or water the Christmas tree.
  • Think ahead and thaw frozen food in the fridge instead of water – this is better for food safety and conserves water.
  • Be mindful when washing dishes.
    • If you have a dishwasher, scrape leftover food before putting dishes in the washer (no need to rinse, and don’t forget to compost the food waste!). Run a full load to reduce the number of times you run the dishwasher.
    • If you don’t have a dishwasher, use one side of your sink for washing and another for rinsing to avoid constantly running the tap.
  • Asks overnight guests to help you conserve water by turning off the tap while brushing teeth, reducing shower times, and pooling dirty laundry to wash one large load rather than multiple small ones.

Reducing energy and water usage is a year-round job, if you need help reducing your energy and water usage don't hestitate to reach out to an energy expert at

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