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Monday, November 22, 2010

Treat Your Guests for Less this Holiday Season

Guest Blogger: Suzanne Grant, APR
Spokesperson/Lead Communications Specialist
Progress Energy

Holiday gatherings spark the potential for significant energy savings!

If your home is the home for family and friends this holiday season, chances are you’re looking for ways to keep everyone comfortable and content while sharing in the holiday cheer. Progress Energy offers a number of suggestions to help the hospitable host control energy costs without taking away from the holiday fun.

The quest to save energy and money this holiday season begins in the kitchen.

An oven costs 33 cents an hour to operate. Save time and money by baking holiday goodies together.

When reheating yesterday’s treats, opt for the toaster oven or microwave. A toaster oven costs just 7 cents per hour to operate, and a microwave typically uses about 75 percent less energy than an oven. When possible, consider using a slow cooker, which can cook an entire meal using only about 17 cents worth of electricity.

Chances are the flurry of excitement within your home will mean more people than usual are heading to the fridge. Minimize the impact of every trip by keeping your refrigerator well stocked. This will lessen the amount of time and energy it takes to cool back down after the door is opened. Better yet, put your guests’ drinks on ice to give your fridge a break while allowing yourself room to work in the kitchen.

If you’re entertaining guests with a passion for technology, there’s a good chance they could spend some time playing video games in front of the TV. Be sure they’re not running up your energy bill in the process. A plasma TV and a video game system can use as much energy as a refrigerator. Even when they’re turned off, these electronics and others often draw a charge. The best solution is to turn off the power strip connected to any unused electronics.

If there is a fireplace in your home, you can reduce the amount of energy used to keep your guests warm and cozy by lighting a fire instead of turning on the central heating system. Just remember to close the flue when the fireplace isn’t in use to prevent the loss of warm air.

For more energy-saving tips, visit

Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit


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