Cooking and baking at home is such a rudimentary, everyday task in our lives that, often unbeknownst to us and our habitual ?auto-pilot?, consumes a great deal of electricity and energy.  So we?re serving up some of the best hot tips for saving crucial electricity in the kitchen. Let the baker beware!

1 ) Try to keep lids on those pots during cooking. This includes slow cookers. Uncovering such vessels will lose a tremendous amount of heat, meaning wasted energy, longer cooking time and more electricity required to regain the temperature.

2 ) Measure your water when boiling. Using more water than is necessary not only wastes your water, but
wastes energy as well.

3 ) Once your water has reached a rolling boil on the stove, turn the heat down. You?ll find that the boil can be maintained with less heat and energy than it took to reach the boiling state.

4 )Invest in a toaster oven if you don?t have one. Use it whenever possible, especially if you are preparing small amounts of food. Choosing the toaster oven over your conventional oven can yield significant savings on your electric bill.

5 ) Grab a slow-cooker cook book and start preparing more meals in a Crock Pot. This space-saving, super-easy countertop appliance uses less energy and requires less electricity than simmering stuff on the stove. Just keep that lid on tight until it?s done (you could lose up to 150 degrees of heat within seconds of popping the top).

6 ) Here?s a simple one ? chop, slice, cut and otherwise rend your foods into smaller pieces for much swifter cooking, and lower energy costs.

7 ) You can slash up to 30 degrees from the top of your cooking temperature if you opt for glass or ceramic dishes in the oven. Your electric meter will thank you.

8 ) Don?t block oven racks with unnecessary obstructions such as foil or wide baking sheets. Your oven heats much faster, more efficiently and more evenly when heat is free to circulate.

9 ) If your recipe calls for baking time longer than an hour or so, don?t preheat your oven. Your delectable dish will actually be better off starting in a cold oven.

10 ) Always use the proper size of pot, pan, dish or kettle on the stove. Placing a vessel on a burner that is only 2 inches larger can completely waste up to 40% of the heat and energy.

11 ) Keep your appliances, stovetops, oven, racks, burners and reflectors as clean as possible. Not only is it safer, but it makes for faster heating with less stress on your appliances.

12 ) Make sure food is thawed thoroughly prior to cooking (unless it is ?ready-to-cook? from the freezer). Also consider opting for thawing in the fridge rather than the microwave to improve energy savings further.

Remember:  Saving electricity in your home is an everyday task that only requires simple application and a bit of smart sense. There?s no substitute for good old fashioned home cooked meals , so by all means you should use your kitchen to its fullest. But if you remain conscious of your energy consumption, you can save a bunch on your electric bills?and splurge on those premium foods instead. Steak anyone?