Holiday time usually means higher utility bills for most households, especially if you are preparing large meals.

But you can help reduce those extra costs with the following practices:


Don’t preheat your oven. Roasting a turkey or ham is a long, slow process, so preheating is usually unnecessary.


Keep the oven closed. When you open your oven door, a significant amount of heat can escape, and your oven temperature can drop by 25 degrees. Use the oven light to peek inside instead.


Bake more than one item at a time. Just make sure you leave enough room around each dish for air to circulate in your oven. If you use glass or ceramic pans in your oven instead of metal ones, you can reduce your baking temperature by 25 degrees.


Match the pan to the burner on electric stoves. If you use a 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner, you can waste up to 40 percent of the energy used.


Keep your refrigerator closed. Your refrigerator can account for up to 15 percent of your home’s total energy use. Keep the door closed as much as possible. It is more efficient to keep the door open a little longer and retrieve several items at once than it is to open the door several times for shorter periods.


Use your dishwasher efficiently. When you use your dishwasher, run it only when you have a full load, and use cold water to rinse the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.

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