How to Get Exactly What You Need When Renewing an Energy Plan

Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are states where energy is deregulated. That means consumers get to choose their energy supplier. It’s a serious advantage that allows consumers to shop around to find the energy plan that best fits their needs, budget and lifestyle.

But finding that plan can be a challenge. Many people opt to simply stick with what they have rather than spend hours hunting down different plans and comparing all the points. It’s particularly difficult when you don’t even know what options could be possible or what all you should be comparing.

We’d like to suggest another solution that’s almost as easy and will help ensure you get an energy plan that’s right for you. That solution is to give your customer care team a call when it’s time to renew. 

Why You Should Talk With Customer Service Before Renewing Your Energy Plan

Let’s imagine that your energy plan is coming to an end in a month. You have a few options. You could stay with the current plan if possible, renew with a different plan from the same supplier or switch to a new plan from a new provider. 

The only thing is you’re not sure what the best option would be, and you’re not quite sure where to start in order to figure it out. In a time when it seems like almost anything can be done online, there are some key benefits to taking things offline and calling your energy supplier. 

You’ll Save Time Securing a Plan

The top reason to contact the customer service department when it’s time to renew your energy plan is because it’s a time-saver. Instead of hunting down information yourself, you can spend a few minutes and a customer service rep can give you all the info you need.

You can start by explaining what you’re looking for in an energy plan. The customer service team member can then explain the key points of your current plan, let you know if you qualify to renew the plan, fill you in on new options that may better suit your needs and answer any questions that you have. 

It’s the absolute quickest way to figure out what your provider has to offer and if the plan you have now is still the best option. 

You Can Line Up a Long-Term Plan So There’s No Worrying Over the Winter

Something to discuss with a customer service rep is the term length of the plan. The last thing New England energy consumers want is to have to switch plans in the middle of winter. It isn’t the time when you want your energy supply to be in question, and it can be costly to start a plan given that energy rates increase when the weather turns cold. 

How long you can lock in a fixed rate plan is just as important as the rate itself given that energy prices tend to increase over time. For consumers in the northeast, it’s highly advisable to secure energy for the long haul by opting for a plan that will get you through the winter months and into the spring. Talking with a customer service rep you’ll be able to weigh the various factors and determine the term length that will be the most advantageous. You may be surprised to find there are more options than you realized. It can range from month-to-month plans all the way out to 24-month plans.  

It Helps Your Supplier Provide Better Services

At Provider Power we encourage customers to reach out all the time, including when it’s time to renew. You’ll not only get personalized assistance with locating plans and deals, you’ll also help us improve the services we provide. 

Simply discussing your needs and what you’re looking for in a plan helps us determine what to offer customers. It gives us insight into how we can do a better job of meeting your needs and the needs of other people in the area. 

If you’re thinking about switching energy providers for some reason it can give your current supplier the opportunity to keep your business by offering you a better deal or fixing an issue that you’ve had with the service. 

In short, if we’re not living up to your expectations we want to know so we can make it right. Any good energy supplier is going to do what they can to meet their customer’s needs, but it’s up to the customer to let those needs be known. And there’s a chance that whatever the issue is it could be a hangup for other customers, so speaking up can help out others as well. 

Are you an existing Provider Power customer? Then we want to hear from you! Our team wants to know how you feel about your current energy plan, what you need as an energy consumer, issues you have figuring out your options and any concerns you have about energy use. And if you’re trying to choose an energy supplier our customer care team is happy to explain what sets Provider Power apart. 

Our goal is for every customer to feel secure and satisfied with their energy plan so it’s one less thing they have to worry about. We’re an energy supplier that’s here for you!

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Importance of Customer Care and User-Friendly Accounts for Energy Consumers

Energy is an important part of your everyday life. Without it our homes aren’t livable, many of us can’t do our work and a person’s health can even be compromised. You rely on energy, which means you need an energy supplier with a solid customer care team you can rely on as well. 

At Provider Power we’ve prioritized customer care because we understand it’s the most valuable aspect of the service we provide. Others can deliver electricity and gas to a home or business, but other providers can’t match our level of customer support. Here’s a closer look at why customer care is so important for energy consumers and how user-friendly accounts can make managing energy use even easier.

Why Customer Care is Critical for Energy Consumers

Electricity and gas are basic necessities. Without them, going about your normal daily life is difficult. That’s why when you have a question or an issue with your energy supply, it needs to be addressed quickly. 

A quality customer service team can also help you: 

Get the Best Energy Plan for Your Needs

No one knows our energy plans and how they compare to the competition like our customer care team. Let them know what you need out of an energy plan, and they can provide suggestions, including recommendations for short-term and long-term periods. 

Find Out About the Latest Offers and Deals

Want to know about all of the latest offers and deals that are available through Provider Power? Then contact the customer care team. They have all the details on the latest offers and specials that you can take advantage of to make every kilowatt-hour that’s used more affordable.  

Renew, Update or Switch Plans With Ease

Is it time to renew your energy plan? We make renewing, updating and switching energy plans easy whether or not you’re a current Provider Power customer. All you have to do is let the representative know the plan you want to sign up for and we’ll handle everything else.

Your Opinion Can Improve the Customer Experience

Your experience interacting with the customer care team matters. We want to know if we’re meeting your expectations and where we might be falling short. Hearing from our customers is the best way for us to improve the support we provide, because that’s our #1 goal. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on:

  • What we’re getting right.
  • What needs to be improved and how.
  • If you can’t find information.
  • If an account tool isn’t intuitive to use.
  • Ideas for how to improve the account portal.

Basically, we want to hear what you have to say about anything related to your energy use. 

Leaving reviews is also helpful for our customer care team and other potential clients. Reviews provide valuable feedback on the customer experience so we can where improvements can be made. Consumers appreciate honest reviews that provide insight on what it’s like to work with Provider Power. 

Advanced Online Account Features Make Energy Management Easier

If you want to better understand how you use energy, where you can save energy and track energy use over time our online accounts are an excellent resource. Through your account you can also: 

  • Access all of your energy bills and records in one place for easy review.
  • Manage your energy plan and make updates.
  • Send messages to the customer care team.

See what makes Provider Power stand out as a best-in-class energy supplier. Contact our customer care team for personal assistance selecting an energy plan or signing up for service. We’ll handle everything else so you can seamlessly switch energy plans without any service disruptions. 

Use a zip code to find available Provider Power plans in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire!

Get in Touch With Customer Service

Want personal assistance signing up for an energy plan or need help getting a question answered? Contact the customer care team Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm Central.


  • Electricity Maine- (866) 573-2674
  • ENH Power- (800) 549-6160
  • Provider Power Mass- (888) 346-4080



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Securing Energy for the Long-Haul

Maybe it’s because a new school year is starting soon or the seasons are changing, but the end of summer is a time when a lot of people get things lined up for the rest of the year and beyond. It’s as if the summer playtime is over and it’s time to get back to business.

As an energy consumer, getting back to business should include taking a look at your current energy plan and how that vital service can be secured for the months to come. Here are some things to think about as you consider your energy needs for the months ahead. 

Why Locking in a Long-Term Energy Plan is a Good Idea

First, let’s go over why securing energy for the long-term is important. There are three primary reasons why it’s usually a good idea to lock in an energy plan for the long-haul:

Energy Prices Are Volatile and Can Change at Any Time

Energy is what’s known as a volatile commodity. That means pricing is not consistent. The price of energy can go up or down at any time, sometimes significantly. Part of the reason for the volatility is that energy is a global commodity that is impacted by many different factors, some of which can’t be controlled whatsoever. 

Energy Rates Have Trended Higher Historically

When you look at energy rates over the long-term you’ll notice a trend. The cost of electricity and natural gas is getting more expensive. It may drop slightly from one season to the next every now and then, but overall the trend is upward. The latest electricity rate stats from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) paint a pretty clear picture. The year-over-year rates increased in every region of the U.S. New England experienced the biggest increase by far. 

More Predictable Monthly Expenses

Locking in a rate for the long-term makes monthly energy expenses more predictable. You won’t be worried about a world event or storm that could send your energy rate skyrocketing the next month. 

Energy Plan Term Lengths

Energy plans have a lot of variables, and the term length is one of them. Below is an overview of some common term lengths for energy plans.


Month-to-month plans offer the least amount of security since the duration is only a month. These types of energy plans do have their place. If you are living somewhere short-term or you know you will be relocating soon, then a month-to-month plan may make the most sense for the moment. It’s also easy to switch providers if you find a great fixed energy rate because there are no termination fees.

12 Months/Yearly/Annual

You’ll be able to find annual energy plans with virtually every provider. It’s a very common term length for energy plans, which many people select as they budget for the year ahead. 

18 Months

You’ll also find longer 18-month energy plans with some providers. Energy savvy consumers will sometimes choose an 18-month plan based on the season to try to lock in the best fixed rate for an extended period. 

24 Months

The longest term many energy providers offer is 24-month energy plans. This term length can offer the most security because you will be set for two years. It’s a good option for homeowners that know they aren’t moving any time soon. 

How the Rate Type Impacts Energy Security

Another variable that directly affects energy security is the type of rate for the plan. Today, providers are coming up with inventive plans that base rates on a lot of different things including demand, how much energy is used and the days when energy is used the most. 

You’ll find a lot of rate structures, but there are four primary types of rates you’ll see for an energy plan:

Fixed Rate

A fixed rate is just like it sounds. You’ll be charged a certain amount per kilowatt-hour no matter what. This is the rate that is going to give you the most energy security because you know exactly how much energy will cost for the entire length of the plan. You’ll also get seasonal price protection because the rate doesn’t change with the season. 

Variable Rate

There are also variable rates that can change. There are different types of variable rates, but traditionally variable rate plans have energy rates that can change from month to month. The rate from month to month is going to be based on the current market prices for your area or some other factor selected by the retail energy provider.

Time-of-Use Rate

The rate for a time-of-use energy plan is all based on when you are using electricity. Typically, a time-of-use plan will have 2-3 time blocks with different rates. For example, a time-of-use plan could have a rate of: 

$0.14 per kilowatt-hour between the hours of 6am and 2pm

$0.17 per kilowatt-hour between the hours of 2pm and 9pm

$0.10 per kilowatt-hour between the hours of 9pm and 6am  

Tiered Rate

This is another type of variable rate. But in this case the rate is based on how much energy you use in a billing period. You’ll start each billing cycle at the lowest rate (tier 1). Once you exceed the baseline allowance of energy use the rate goes up to tier 2. The baseline allowance of a tiered rate is based on the season, so some months you may be more likely to pay tier 2 or tier 3 rates. 

Securing a Long-Term Energy Plan

Securing a long-term energy plan that makes expenses more predictable isn’t hard. As a consumer switching energy providers doesn’t require much effort. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Look over your electric bill to find the current rate and term length details, paying careful attention to when the current plan expires.
  • Make note of any fees that are associated with ending the plan early (early termination fee). 
  • Check to see what the average energy rates are in your market area and/or state.
  • Compare rates, term lengths, benefits and customer ratings for your top provider picks.
  • Select a provider and plan that best meets your needs. 
  • Sign up for the plan online or over the phone.
  • Sit back and let your new energy supplier handle the rest.

Switching energy providers really is that easy. Your new provider will make arrangements with the old supplier and local utility to make sure you experience no interruption in service. 

Rebates That Help You Save No Matter What Energy Plan You Have

Securing energy for the long-haul goes beyond your plan. Making your home as energy efficient as possible is an effective way to keep energy use under control every season. Lowering energy consumption also helps to secure electric grids that are maxed out. 

Currently, there are a lot of incentives and rebates available to help people make energy efficiency improvements. They are offered at the federal, state and local levels. Below are rebate resources for customers in Provider Power market areas:

Rebates for Maine Energy Consumers

Rebates for Massachusetts Energy Consumers

Rebates for New Hampshire Energy Consumers

Provider Power wants every customer to enjoy energy security. Give our team a call to discuss your energy needs and we can give you guidance on what options will work best!

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Healthy Ways to Cool Down Without Increasing Your Energy Bill

It’s summer again, which means one thing is certain – heat. After a reprieve in the spring, energy consumers are once again thinking about how the seasonal shift in the weather might impact their energy use and monthly electric bills. For many people, the goal in summer is finding the happy place between physical comfort and financial comfort.

We’re helping consumers find the balance so that energy costs don’t get out of control. There are many hacks for reducing air conditioner use, but you can also make lifestyle choices that make it easier to get through the hottest months. Below are five healthy ways you can cool down this summer without using any extra electricity.

Cold Plunge in the Bathtub or Shower

If you’re into the latest health crazes you’ve probably familiar with cold therapy. Many studies now show that there are significant therapeutic benefits to exposing your body to the cold for short periods. In particular, cold water immersion is highly beneficial beyond cooling you down quickly.

Research shows that exposure to cold water can lead to increases in dopamine production, better management of stress, improved insulin sensitivity, protection against cardiovascular diseases and more. Plus, it’s a great way to cool down without using energy since the hot water heater won’t kick on.

True cold water immersion is when you fill a tub with very cold water and sit in the bold water up to your neck for 1-3 minutes. That’s the first piece of good news – it doesn’t take long to feel the positive effects. The other piece of good news is you can get benefits in the shower as well. Instead of sitting in a tub you can stand under the cold water for 1-3 minutes. It’s best to have the water hitting your head or the back of your neck for the biggest health benefits.

What’s most important is the water should be uncomfortably cold, but not freezing. Of course, if you’re trying to chill out during the hot summer months the cold water will be more refreshing than frigid.

Bring Down Your Body Temperature With Breathing

Another healthy habit that’s getting a lot of attention lately is breathwork. Meditation and yoga practitioners have long stated the importance of proper breathing techniques that can be used on their own to relax the body and bring core temperature down.

Deep breathing is considered an effective stress reducer that calms the mind and body. If nothing else, breathing techniques activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which has a calming effect that makes dealing with the heat a lot easier.

One common breathing technique to calm down quickly is deep breathing through one nostril only. You cover one nostril completely, take four deep breaths and then repeat on the other side. Another easy breathing technique is to breathe in deeply through the nose, take another short inhale to completely fill the lungs then slowly breathe out through the mouth.

Surprisingly, a few studies suggest that meditation isn’t the best practice for cooling down. Tibetan monks who are experts at meditation can actually increase their body temperature while meditating.

Stay Hydrated With Cool Water

When you’re hot you may be tempted to pour a glass of ice cold water, but that could end up making you hotter. Research studying hydration in athletes found that cool, not ice cold, water was the most effective at cooling people down. The body’s natural cooling system (sweating) appears to regulate the quickest when a person drinks cool water. Ice cold water might actually increase your temperature as the body works to melt the ice and warm up the cold water.

Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies

Summer and popsicles are a classic combination that people of all ages can enjoy, but it isn’t the best way to bring your body temperature down. Instead reach for chilled fruits and vegetables with a high water content. It turns out foods like watermelon are a great way to beat the heat from the inside.

Fruits and vegetables will help you stay hydrated, plus they have minerals that can keep your body balanced for improved body temperature regulation. There’s also very little fat and protein in fruits and vegetables, which is easier for the body to process.

Use Cold Packs Strategically

It turns out there is a way to cool the entire body down by applying cold to the right spots on the body. But where the cold should be applied may surprise you. For years, when someone was overheating we rushed to cover as much of their body with cold water or ice packs as possible thinking that the more they were exposed to cold the better it would be for cooling down. In particular, the focus was cooling down the person’s head.

We now know it’s actually best to place ice packs on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet to cool someone down quickly. The hands and feet are where the highest rate of blood flow occurs, and it’s also where we have special blood vessels that are highly effective at heat removal. As blood moves through the hands and feet it cools the blood that then circulates back to the warm core of the body helping to cool you down. You can also place cold packs on the cheeks and neck to cool yourself down even quicker.

Keep cool this summer with a predictable fixed rate energy plan from Provider Power. See which plans are currently available in your area!

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Save Energy Exploring New England’s Coastal Towns This Spring

One of the best things about spring is the great weather. It’s perfect for taking a day trip or a weekend getaway to explore a nearby locale. Getting out to explore new places is beneficial in a lot of ways, including for your energy bill. 

Right now is prime travel time for people in the northeast who want to explore New England’s uniquely beautiful coastline. There are dozens of quaint villages with tons of character as well as bustling vacation spots that attract people from all over the country. No matter what type of experience you’re looking for, we’ve found seven New England coastal towns that won’t disappoint. Plus, we’ve provided a few suggestions for saving energy while you’re away.  

New to New England? This checklist for moving to New England will help you get things done so you have time to tour around the area. 

7 New England Coastal Towns to Explore in Spring

Nantucket, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for a beach town, Nantucket is the perfect spot. New England isn’t known for its beaches, but Nantucket is one of the exceptions. Most notable is that every square foot of the beaches are public. There’s also a lot of variety in one place. You can find gentle waves at Children’s Beach or sizable waves on the south shore. If you want to get close to the sealife, make time to visit the Coatue Wildlife Refuge.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Want more of a vintage beach vibe? You can’t get better than Cape Cod. It’s actually a collection of small towns that have largely remained unchanged for decades. Many consider Cape Cod to be the epicenter of Americana culture, and it’s easy to see why when you visit. At every turn there are American flags, lighthouses and artwork that amplifies pride in the USA. If you’d prefer to get out in nature than go shopping, check out the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

If stunning views are what you’re after, Watch Hill won’t disappoint. The town sits high up on a cliffside where you can see the Atlantic Ocean, Pawcatuck River and Little Narragansett Bay. With all the water around it’s not surprising that sailboating is a major pastime in Watch Hill. Visitors all enjoy kayaking up the river and fly-fishing. While you’re in Watch Hill stop by The Preserve for a full day of outdoor activities. 

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Martha’s Vineyard is a regular retreat for professionals that grind away in Washington, D.C. and New York City. If you’re there over the weekend you’re likely to see a politician or two. But what you’ll really want to check out is the beachfront real estate. Martha’s Vineyard is home to some of New England’s most impressive houses from elaborate, cozy cottages to expansive mansions.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is a family-friendly spot where kids of all ages can take part in activities. This historic town is where you’ll find the well-known Acadia National Park. The 2.2-mile Ocean Path bike trail and 45 miles of carriage roads have earned Bar Harbor the designation of being one of the most bikeable beach towns in the country. 

Mystic, Connecticut

You may have heard about the movie Mystic Pizza that launched Julia Roberts career. That pizza joint is in Mystic, CT where you’ll find many other attractions and museums. It’s a great getaway for anyone who wants to use their vacation time to learn something new. Visit the Mystic Aquarium to learn about the local aquatic life, stop by the Mystic Seaport Museum for a look at a fishing village from the 1800s or stroll through Olde Mistick Village for modern day shopping in beautiful historic buildings with unique stories. 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

People come to Portsmouth to sample the fresh seafood, take a relaxing stroll around Market Square and enjoy live entertainment at Prescott Park once the sun goes down. It’s more active than many other smaller coastal towns in New England, which is great for couples or groups that want to relax during the day then have fun experiencing the local nightlife. It’s especially convenient for Bostonians that live just an hour away. 

How to Save Energy While You’re Exploring the New England Coast

While you’re away from home exploring the New England coastline you can help fund your trip by saving energy. Here are a few energy saving essentials for travelers.

Put the Programmable Thermostat in Away/Vacation Mode

The biggest energy saver is going to be adjusting your programmable thermostat. Hopefully you’ve already made adjustments to your thermostat for summer energy savings, but you can save even more by using the Away or Vacation setting rather than your normal daily schedule. 

The Away/Vacation setting overrides schedules that you’ve created. Instead of going by the regular presets, when a thermostat is in Away/Vacation mode it will automatically adjust the temperature for optimal savings rather than comfort or preference.

Put Smart Bulbs on a Schedule

Hopefully, you’ve also invested in at least a few smart LED bulbs. Smart LED lighting not only lowers energy use, it also improves safety and security at home while you’re away. You can set the bulbs up on a schedule so they only turn on for a limited amount of time each day. That way you can conserve energy, but it will still look like someone is home controlling the lights.

Plug in Smart Power Strips

You can go a step further and eliminate vampire power from wasting energy while you’re away by using a few smart power strips. You’ll be able to completely cut the power to electronics that are in standby mode, and you can control devices remotely in the event something needs to be turned on or off. If you don’t have smart LED bulbs you can plug a lamp into a smart power strip and control lighting remotely that way.  

You can count on Provider Power to supply reliable electricity when you’re at home or away. We serve communities throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. Check to see which Provider Power energy plans are available in your area.

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Give Yourself Energy Price Stability This Spring

Many consumers are understandably concerned about energy prices in the winter and summer when extreme weather can increase demand and make prices spike. However, spring is another season when various factors can cause price volatility and unpredictability. Unlike winter and summer, it’s really uncertain as to whether prices will go up or down during the spring. 

There are three things in particular that make spring less than predictable for energy consumers. 

What Makes Spring Energy Prices Less Predictable

Tornadoes are more likely to occur in the spring than any other time of the year, and that could certainly disrupt the power supply and even natural gas production. But there are three things that are more likely to have a large-scale impact on energy use from April to June in the northeast. 

Lingering Cold

In some areas of the country, temperatures may linger just above freezing or there could be a last minute cold snap at the start of spring. When that happens it can keep demand for energy higher than normal, which could have an impact on pricing. In the northeast this could definitely be the case since it’s cold enough for snow to still be falling in April. 

Early Heat Waves

The opposite could also be true, and you may work up a sweat during your spring cleaning. In some parts it may feel like you go straight from winter to summer and skip a milder spring season all together. If an early heat wave hits there will be little downtime for the HVAC system. That’s why it’s best to line up an air conditioner tech to come by in the early spring for an AC tuneup that could increase energy efficiency. 

Rainy Days That Keep People Indoors

The spring can bring rain. Not just a few spring showers, but a lot of rain that keeps people inside all day. Being cooped up inside means that more energy is being used. 

For example, in April there’s almost a 50/50 chance it will rain any day in New Hampshire. The good news is most of the time it’s a light shower that will keep you inside for a short time. 

What You Can Do to Make Spring Energy Prices More Predictable

In spring you never know what will happen with the weather that could potentially affect rates. But with Provider Power that’s not something you have to worry about. You can relax and enjoy spring with an energy plan that’s set for the season.

Provider Power works to help customers optimize energy use in every way through all of the seasons. Fixed rates, excellent customer care and special promotions help consumers make the most of essential energy services. 

This spring you can give yourself pricing stability with the Safeguard Plan! The plan gives you a predictable rate that won’t change all season. Find out if the Safeguard Plan is offered in your area. 

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10 Tips for Cooking Large Meals Without Wasting Energy

As families plan get togethers for the Easter holiday there’s sure to be a lot of discussion about the meal. Staples like a ham, deviled eggs and warm rolls are paired with foods that are unique to each family, which is part of what makes holiday meals so special. 

If you signed up to host the family Easter dinner this year there’s probably a lot to get arranged before the festivities. You may already be getting your grocery list together and coordinating with family members to get everything on the table. But one thing you might overlook is how much energy is needed to make a large Easter meal. 

Spending time with loved ones shouldn’t require spending more on your energy bill. Use the tips below to host an epic Easter dinner without seeing your electricity use spike.

Tip #1 – Create a Cooking Plan

If you want things to go smoothly and efficiently in the kitchen, you can set yourself up for chef success by creating a cooking plan. It doesn’t have to be anything in-depth or elaborate. But taking a little time to plan things out in advance can save you stress and energy when you’re cooking, especially when it’s a large family meal with lots of food. 

The cooking plan can include:

  • What you plan to cook
  • The cooking requirements for each dish
  • A general order in which things need to be cooked
  • What items can be cooked together
  • Ways that energy use can be reduced or eliminated

Get creative on the last point to save the most energy. You can consider things like if you can use a more efficient cooking method or change up the recipe so it doesn’t take as long to cook. The goal is to prep so that you are set up to save energy right from the start. 

Tip #2 – Use the Oven Strategically 

The oven is where a lot of the magic happens during an Easter meal, and this is where your cooking plan will really come into play. Depending on what you plan to cook, you could save energy if you:

  • Start with food that cooks at the highest temperature and work your way down. That way the oven is already preheated for the next dish. 
  • Load the oven up as much as you can with dishes that have a similar cooking temperature.
  • If you’re adjusting the temperature to accommodate multiple dishes, go with the lowest temperature required. Many recipes have a temperature that’s slightly higher than needed to cook.  
  • Use the oven light to check food instead of opening the door. Cracking the door just a bit can cause the temperature to drop 25 degrees.
  • Don’t worry about pre-heating the oven in advance if something needs to cook for more than an hour. 
  • Turn the oven off (but don’t open the door) about 5-10 minutes before a dish is done cooking. The residual heat should be enough to finish it off. 
  • Give your oven a good cleaning before cooking. Ovens that are clean and well maintained will cook more efficiently.

Tip #3 – Use Glass or Ceramic in Place of Metal Pans

The lower you can set the oven temperature the less energy you’ll need to use. When the oven is on for hours cooking a large family meal, lowering the temp even a little can make a difference. That’s why we suggest you use glass or ceramic dishes and pans instead of metal. Glass and ceramic hold heat better than metal, which means they can cook food at a lower temperature. 

If you use ceramic or glass pans and dishes you can set the oven temperature 25 degrees lower than what’s noted in the recipe.

Tip #4 – Use the Grill Instead of the Oven

You can skip the oven all together for a number of foods if you have a grill. Does your family prefer brisket over ham? Then slow-cooking a slab of beef on the grill will help you save space in the oven for other foods so it’s used less overall. 

You can also get creative and find other foods that can go on the grill if you have more room on the rack. Lots of veggies can be cooked on the grill or even appetizers and side dishes like bacon-wrapped asparagus, baked beans and cheesy flatbread.

Tip #5 – Use a Pressure Cooker When Possible

If you can choose between the oven and a pressure cooker, the pressure cooker is always going to be the more energy efficient option. Bonus – you can keep it in the cooking pot to serve the dish so there’s one less thing to clean. 

Tip #6 – Don’t Overlook the Microwave

Don’t get too caught up in the idea that you need to use complicated cooking techniques to create a 5-star Easter dinner. If a recipe gives you the option to use the microwave, go for it! The microwave is much more efficient than cooking in the oven, particularly when it’s a small item that requires high heat. 

Tip #7 – Choose the Toaster Oven for Small Dishes

Sometimes the microwave is no substitute for oven cooking, but there’s another option. There may not be a lot of space in a toaster oven, but that’s why they’re so efficient. It takes about half as much energy to heat up the toaster oven, and it can cook a small dish just as well as the oven. 

Tip #8 – Watch Your Hot Water Use

When you’re rinsing dishes or filling pots be mindful about whether you’re using hot or cold water. Whenever possible keep it cold so that the hot water heater doesn’t kick on. The hot water heater is one of the worst appliances for your electric bill. The older storage hot water heaters are very power hungry. They can account for as much as 14% of an electric bill. 

Tip #9 – Make Cold Foods the Main Attraction

Cold foods are perfect for Easter holiday dinners for a few reasons. As the weather warms up, cold foods are refreshing. Appetizers like egg salad finger sandwiches also don’t require any electricity or gas to cook, but there’s another energy saving bonus. Keeping the fridge fully loaded helps it cool the inside more efficiently. 

Tip #10 – Use Pots and Pans That Are Appropriately Sized

When you’re cooking on the stovetop, the cookware makes a huge difference. If a pot or pan is too large you’ll waste energy heating it up. And if it’s too small for the burner that you’re using you may use more energy than necessary because of heat loss. 

Flat-bottomed cookware is also recommended since it provides better contact with the burners and heats up more quickly. If the pot or pan has a copper bottom that’s even better. 

Want to keep saving energy in the kitchen? The Provider Power blog has lots of useful advice like energy saving grilling tips and how to store food for max energy efficiency. It’s just one way that Provider Power helps customers lower their energy costs so they can enjoy a comfortable quality of life.

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3 Surefire Ways to Warm Up Without Increasing the Heat

We’re still in the thick of winter with days that are chilly and nights that are even colder. By now you’re probably growing tired of feeling frigid and even more tired of the increased energy use that’s needed to warm up your home. 

The U.S. Energy Department recommends keeping the thermostat at 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter for optimal energy savings, but that isn’t comfortable for some people. If you’re in that group we’ve created this list for you. In addition to winterizing your home, here are three surefire ways to warm up without increasing the heat and energy costs.

Layer on the Clothing Where It Counts

The easiest and cheapest way to warm up without cranking up the heat is to layer on clothing. You may have heard this advice before, but there’s a key point that could influence what you wear. 

There are three spots on our bodies that are more susceptible to the cold. The palms of the hands, bottoms of feet and cheeks feel the cold more than other places on the body because the blood vessels don’t constrict with the cold. When cold is applied to these spots of the body it causes heat removal at the skin surface, which cools body temperature. During the hot summers this is a benefit, but during the winter it can make you feel even colder. Wearing gloves and keeping your cheeks covered may not be possible, but thick socks can make a big difference in heating up without a heater. 

Strategically Place Portable Space Heaters That Provide Direct Heat Using Less Energy

It may seem like using a space heater isn’t the best way to save energy since they run off of electricity. However, if the choice is between using a portable space heater or turning up the central heat, the space heater is usually the better option. 

This is definitely the case when there’s just one person needing warmth in a specific location of your house. The portable space heater doesn’t spread warmth around. Instead it provides direct heat exactly where you need it. To conserve the most energy possible, opt for a smaller space heater that’s appropriately sized. Other energy efficient features to look for include temperature controls, eco settings and scheduling capabilities. You may also want to consider heaters that can oscillate if you want the heat dispersed throughout a room. 

Does your home have a fireplace? The fireplace is essentially a fixed space heater that can be used when you’re in the room. If you have one, read through these five tips to get more warmth out of your fireplace.

Make Adjustments at the Windows to Keep Heat Inside

A lot of heat escapes and cold gets in around the windows. Even if you’ve weatherized, there are a number of ways you can make adjustments to the windows to keep the warmth inside. 

  • Invest in heavy blackouts curtains with a thermal lining or thermal curtains. 
  • Keep curtains closed most of the day, particularly at night.
  • Open up curtains when sunlight is streaming through the window.  
  • If the temperature outside exceeds the inside temp, then open the windows.
  • Move furniture away from the window where it’s colder.
  • Use draft blockers at the bottom of the window frame where it opens. 
  • Use a window film to increase the insulating factor of the glass. 
  • Consider using removable caulk at the bottom of windows you don’t plan to open during the winter.
  • Cut vegetation back from windows to let more light and heat in. 

One last thing regarding the windows. Always make sure all windows are properly closed in the winter. They should be locked to ensure they are fully sealed. And if you have storm windows check to make sure they’re shut correctly as well. 

Want more ways to save on energy during the winter? Provider Power helps customers lower the cost of energy with detailed usage information, expert resources and attentive personal assistance. Making the switch to Provider Power is easy – start by using your zip code to find energy plans in your area.

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