Media Contact: Scott Reigstad (608) 458-3145
MADISON, WI – November 25, 2008 – As loved ones gather across the country to enjoy Thanksgiving Day dinner, Alliant Energy encourages customers to remember the value of energy by implementing energy efficiency practices as they prepare their holiday feast.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost of the goods for this year’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner for ten people is approximately $44.61. However, Alliant Energy can appreciate the value of the energy necessary to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends. The average cost for Alliant Energy customers to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner using energy sources such as electricity or natural gas is $1.48 and 47 cents, respectively.
Natural Gas Cost
16 lb stuffed turkey roasted in an oven for 3.5 hours
Large pan of mashed potatoes cooked for 20 minutes
Giblet gravy cooked on the stove for 10 minutes
Homemade dinner rolls baked for 30 minutes
Vegetable casserole baked in an oven for 30 minutes
Two pumpkin pies baked in an oven
Total Energy Value
Alliant Energy also offers the following cooking energy efficiency tips to practice when preparing Thanksgiving Day dinner to maximize your energy value:
· Use the ‘lids-on’ approach to stove top cooking. Tightly fitted lids help keep heat within pots and pans, which permits the use of lower temperature settings and shorter cooking times.
· When cooking on top of your range, match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air.
· Always cook on highest heat until liquid begins to boil. Upon boiling, lower the heat control setting and allow food to simmer until fully cooked.
· The turkey is traditionally stuffed early in the morning and roasted for hours. Since it’s a long, slow cook, there’s no need to preheat your oven, even when the recipe suggests it. This also holds true for a holiday ham. In fact, unless you’re baking breads or pastries, you may not need to preheat the oven at all.
· When using an electric oven, cook as much of your meal in it at one time as possible. Foods with different cooking temperatures can often be cooked simultaneously – variations of 25 degrees Fahrenheit in either direction still produce good results and save energy.
· Use glass or ceramic pans, they heat faster than metal pans and the cooking temperature may be lowered by 25°F. The benefit is the foods will cook in the same time with less energy utilized.
· Don’t overlook the other cooking appliances at Thanksgiving. Fast and efficient microwave ovens use around 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens.
· When cleaning up after dinner, do not use your oven’s self-cleaning cycle unless you have a major cleaning job on your hands. Wipe up minor spills and splatters with a damp cloth.
· When using the oven’s self-clean feature, start the cycle right after cooking, while the oven is still hot, or wait until late evening hours when use of electricity is lowest.
· In addition to your stove, your refrigerator and freezer also get a real workout over the holidays. Help your refrigerator and freezer operate efficiently and economically by keeping the doors closed as much as possible so the cold air doesn’t escape.
“On behalf of our company and its employees, we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday,” said Bill Harvey, Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO. “We encourage hosts of all Thanksgiving celebrations to realize the value of energy and to implement energy efficiency practices into their dinner preparations.”
Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and over 400,000 natural gas customers. Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electric and natural gas service is the company’s primary focus. Alliant Energy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is a Fortune 1000 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.alliantenergy.com.