We don’t use a microwave, so all of our baking and food warming happens in our oven. My son cooks himself a hot lunch daily, so it’s not unusual for the oven to be warmed up to 350 degrees a couple of times a day. Even though I usually try to combine dinner preparation with a round of baking, it seemed like we weren’t exactly being efficient. After pondering it for six months or so, I finally forked out for a toaster oven, deciding on an Oster Six-Slice Extra Capacity Convection Toaster Oven. Yes, it came packaged with a couple of slabs of Styrofoam (cringe).
My son uses the toaster oven for making lunch, I’ve cooked many dinners in it (casserole dishes actually fit), and even baked a loaf of bread. It’s convenient and takes less time to warm up than the full sized oven, but I’ve been waiting to see if it would actually make any difference in my utility bill. The answer: absolutely!
Household energy usage this past month (the first full month with the toaster oven) is down by about 75 kilowatt hours, netting a $30 savings. In just two months, I’ll have recouped what I spent on the oven. After that, it’s pure savings for my checkbook, plus I’m using less of the diesel-powered energy provided by my local utility company. In the long run, I think I can be forgiven for that Styrofoam, yes?