With school in session and football season in full swing, tailgate parties are a regular weekend affair. On those weekends when the home team is playing an “away” game, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) can help keep your energy costs down as the gang tailgates at home in front of your widescreen television.
This month, the PSC wants you to save your energy for cheering, so below are some energy savers when preparing the most important part of your tailgate party–the food! Residents can save 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) or more of energy through December by following the PSC’s monthly Energy Saving Challenge, the Commission’s tribute to Florida’s Viva 500 celebration that will save customers’ money and save the state’s resources.
“Your kitchen is often the busiest room in the house during tailgate parties or any gathering,” said PSC Chairman Ronald A. Brisé. “By using these tips, you can reduce your kitchen energy usage and save some cash for your fast approaching holiday meals.”
Top tailgate energy savers for the oven:
Preheat the oven to the exact temperature required; preheating is not necessary for foods that cook for several hours.
Limit opening the oven door; this lowers the temperature as much as 25°F.
Turn your electric oven off 15 minutes before the cooking time is complete. Food will continue cooking as long as the oven door is not opened.
Glass and ceramic baking dishes retain heat better than metal. If you cook with glass or ceramic dishes, you can reduce the oven temperature by 25°F.
Conserve energy by baking several items at a time.
Use the lowest heat setting possible.
For the range:
Match the size of the pan to the size of the heating element; using a 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes 40% of the energy used.
Keep pots and pans covered to prevent heat loss.
Clean burners and reflectors provide better heating and save energy.
Turn off the burner a few minutes before cooking is complete—the heating elements will continue cooking after the electricity is turned off.
Try one-pot cooking. Stews, soups, and other great peasant meals only take one burner to cook and they are so nourishing and satisfying!
The less liquid and fat you use, the quicker the cooking time.
Brisé added, “While your tailgate menu might not premiere on the Food Network, we can join today’s world-famous chefs who’ve learned that saving kitchen energy equals financial and environmental savings.”
Join the PSC’s 2013 Energy Saving Challenge and track your new conservation habits and monthly energy savings. Look for next month’s PSC challenge and visit our website to find more energy saving tips at http://www.floridapsc.com/consumers/tips.
“Florida’s reputation as a one-of-a-kind cultural destination is a testament to its diverse, innovative, and resourceful residents,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “The PSC’s energy challenge will help future generations of Floridians enjoy the great state we call home, and we welcome them as a Viva Florida 500 partner.”
About Viva Florida 500
Viva Florida 500 is a statewide initiative led by the Florida Department of State, under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott, to highlight the 500 years of historic people, places, and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de León to the land he named La Florida in 1513.
In 2013, Florida will mark 500 years of history and diverse cultural heritage – a claim no other state in America can make – and promote the place where the world’s cultures began to unite and transform into the great nation we know today as the United States of America.
For more information on Viva Florida 500, visit the Department of State’s website on Florida’s 500th Anniversary at http://www.vivaflorida.org/.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.