Traditionally, Thanksgiving in the US is a time for delicious food, shared with cherished company. This year, as you count your blessings, the California Energy Commission says you might give a thought to the reliable energy sources that enable you to prepare those culinary delights so enjoyed by family and friends.Sacramento, California – November 27, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Think of a turkey, roasted to a rich, golden hue; fresh, tangy cranberries, candied yams, creamy gravy smothering mashed potatoes, and your family’s special stuffing. Imagine the scents wafting through the house, blending with the mouth-watering aromas of pumpkin and mincemeat pies. Today’s new kitchen appliances use nearly 50 percent less energy than those built just a decade ago. Still, when holiday time rolls around, your energy bills can rise considerably, what with your stove, oven, and dishwasher running overtime, and the door to your refrigerator standing open frequently as family members search for hidden treats. Thankfully, it’s not difficult to keep added holiday energy costs to a minimum. Just follow these few simple tips from the California Energy Commission: -Since cooking the holiday bird is 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. -Don’t open the oven door to take a peek at what’s cooking inside. Instead, turn on the oven light and check the cooking status through the oven window. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside by as much as 25 degrees which increases cooking time and wastes energy. -Fast and efficient microwave ovens use around 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens, and they don’t heat up your kitchen. Consider using them to bake yams, steam your favorite fresh vegetables, or heat up leftover turkey and gravy for a midnight snack. -Remember your small appliances, great energy savers that can save you money all year long. -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. However, leaving the door open for a longer period of time while you take out the items you need is more efficient than opening and closing it several times. -One simple, fun, and cost-effective way to save energy at holiday time is to gather everyone together in the kitchen and wash and dry your dishes by hand. But don’t keep a steady stream of hot water flowing, or you’ll waste more energy than you’ll save. According to research, a load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand. Saving energy in the kitchen is a habit you should practice all year long why not begin this Thanksgiving? Throughout the holiday season and into the New Year, you’ll watch your energy bills drop even as you use less of our precious energy resources just one more thing to be thankful for this holiday season.