The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that cooking alone accounts for 4 percent of total home energy use, and this figure doesn’t include the energy costs associated with refrigeration, hot-water heating and dishwashing.
With holiday parties and potlucks on the horizon, keep these tips in mind to control energy costs:
Don’t peek. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, forcing it to use more energy to get back to the proper cooking temperature.
Turn it down or turn it off. For regular cooking, it’s probably not necessary to have your oven on as long—or set as high—as the recipe specifies. For recipes that need to bake for longer than an hour, pre-heating the oven isn’t necessary. Residual heat inside an electric oven will finish the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking time. Just remember to keep the oven door closed or the lid on until time is up.
Give your burners a break. For your stovetop to function effectively, it’s important that the metal reflectors under your electric stove burners stay free of dirt and grime.
Don’t neglect your slow cooker. Or your microwave, toaster oven or warming plate. The average toaster oven uses about half the energy of the average electric stove over the same cooking time
Give your furnace the day off. If your next party involves a lot of work for your stove, think about turning down your furnace to compensate. The heat of the oven and all those guests will keep the temperature comfortable.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy