Over the years, Lakeland Electric has only been able to measure a residential customers energy use on a limited bases. However today using Smart Grid technology, we have the ability to look at how much energy all are customers use during each hour of the day.  One use for this data is being able to answer customer questions such as “how much more energy do I use on Thanksgiving day compared to another Thursdays in November ?"

The chart below answers this question. It shows a comparison of the average hourly consumption of our ~102,000 residential customers on Thanksgiving day 2013 and the Thursday of the week before.  Between the two days we can clearly see the impact of cooking a holiday dinner in the middle of the day. The stove and range portion of the energy increased on Thanksgiving day is approximately 8kWh.  This represents approximately 80% of the total 10 kWh increase in energy use between the two Thursdays.

Chart: average increased residential consumption - Source: Lakeland Electric Smart Grid

Cooking a Turkey

The National Turkey Federation estimates that 46 million turkeys were eaten for Thanksgiving last year and the average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving was 16 pounds. Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says you should cook a (thawed) stuffed turkey that size for 4-4.5 hours, and electric ovens use 2 kWh when used at 350º for an hour, this means you could be using roughly 8 kWh of electricity just to cook your holiday turkey – not including all sides that go with it.

That can really add up when you look at the total number of turkeys that may be roasting this Thanksgiving. According to the California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center, 58 percent of American households use electric versus gas for cooking.  That translates to more than 26 million average turkeys roasting for 4 hours, just in electric-oven households alone. It also means that more than 213 million kWh of electricity could be used, nationwide.

When you translate that to dollars spent on electricity for the day, it’s nowhere near what’s spent for holiday meal ingredients, but it still adds up. Based on the most recent federal electricity pricing data, it also means that roughly $25 million may be spent on the electricity used to roast turkeys across the nation this Turkey Day.

Fried Turkey can be dangerous

Did you know there are more than three times as many home fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year? It's true. About 2,000 fires occur each year on Thanksgiving, causing an average of five fatalities, 15 injuries and $21 million in property damage. The culprit in most of those fires is unattended cooking.
It’s easy to get distracted while cooking and entertaining family and friends on Thanksgiving. Lakeland Electric reminds you to NEVER leave cooking equipment or appliances unattended for any reason. This includes outdoor turkey fryers.
Safety is the best ingredient during the holidays!

Stuff your hoven

Think of Side Dishes that can be Cooked WITH Your Turkey- Figure out which of your traditional Thanksgiving recipes cook at the same (or similar temperature) as your turkey and cook the 2 (or more) side by side depending on how much room you have available in your oven. Foods with different cooking temperatures can often be cooked simultaneously at one temperature – variations of 25 degrees Fahrenheit in either direction still produce good results and save energy. Regardless of how many items are in your oven, the same amount of energy is being used to keep the heat at your desired temperature. So make the most of it and fit as many dishes in that oven as possible!

Electric-savings tips for Thanksgiving

Here's a cooking tip to help keep your energy costs down: Don’t open the oven door to take a peek at what’s cooking inside. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside by as much as 25 degrees – which increases cooking time and wastes energy. Instead, turn on the oven light to check the cooking status.

Cut back on electric consumption and still savor the food, fun and festiveness of the day. Follow these tips as you plan for the holiday.

  • Consider grilling or frying your turkey outside.
  • Use your crock pot or microwave for side dishes where you can.
  • If it's cold turn your thermostat up and enjoy your warm kitchen.
  • Use a cooler for drinks if you're hosting a large group.


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Turkey Day