Blog: A turkey of a Thanksgiving energy saving tip

Our cousins over the pond have just celebrated Thanksgiving – and as we all do on big holidays, the thing to do is gobble, gobble, gobble. What does that spell […]

By Vicky Ellis

Our cousins over the pond have just celebrated Thanksgiving – and as we all do on big holidays, the thing to do is gobble, gobble, gobble.

What does that spell for energy use? Probably a chunky rise if you factor in all the extra special seasonal dishes. Where we have our Christmas extras i.e. two types of everything: stuffing (sage & onion and meaty), dessert (yule log and figgy pudding), sauce (cranberry and bread), the Yanks have to have their pumpkin pie and yams.

Why do I bother dragging energy into what should be a relaxed, stress-free, enjoyable time? I bring this up because last week, ELN received the most inane press release. Ever.

In an attempt to offer some tips on energy saving, the release had some sensible suggestions: don’t leave the oven on when you finish cooking, etc.

It also suggested saving water by… er… using a dishwasher.  Rather than by hand. Yes, that sounds like it would definitely help the original aim of saving electricity…

As a quick check, I emailed the PR contact of the US energy supplier who had pumped out this ‘factlet’. She emailed me back with this supremely accurate response:

“Hi Vicky, Thank you for your email. Dishwashers use less water than handwashing, especially when you have many dishes to wash. Rinsing the dishes is the part that uses the most water. I hope this helps – have a great day!”

Forgive me if I’m wrong – but really? Call me old fashioned but the way my grampa taught me to wash up, an obedient five year old, tea towel in hand, would never use more water than a washing machine. And certainly not more electricity.

A cursory check on uSwitch.com, disappointingly, can’t give me the answer. It states: “Unfortunately, there’s no absolute proof as to whether hand-washing your dishes or using a dishwasher is more energy-efficient, in terms of either the amount of water or electricity used.”

Is this a classic example of trying to save one thing and in the process, wasting another? Or am I becoming a grumpy old woman long before my time? Can anyone please put me out of my misery? Before Christmas is completely ruined by more nonsense energy PR.

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