12 Ways to Save Energy in your Kitchen

With hydro costs increasing, trying these tips results in significant savings

With the fridge running 24/7, the stove and the dishwasher, your kitchen is the room in your home that utilizes the most energy. With just a few minor adjustments, you can significantly cut the amount of energy you consume. With hydro costs increasing exponentially, we all need to adopt energy-saving habits and trying just a couple of these can result in significant savings.

Stove

  • Using ceramic or glass cookware helps to retain heat, so lower the oven temperature by 20°C.
  • Always defrost frozen food to reduce cooking times.
  • Keep your metal burners clean or use foil inserts as this helps to reflect heat.
  • Use the right size burner for each pot—a small pot on a large burner is just a waste of energy.
  • Unless it’s part of the recipe, keep a lid on all your pots while cooking.
  • Use your oven light to take a peek at your dish—opening the oven door allows at least 20% of the heat to escape.
  • Cook in off-peak times to save significantly on your energy costs and cook more than one meal at a time.

Fridge

  • Gazing lovingly at your food can cost $30-$60 a year, so decide what you want before you open the fridge door.
  • New fridges are up to 75% more efficient than old ones. You can use this calculator to see where your fridge falls on the efficiency scale and how much you can save buying a more efficient, EnergyStar appliance.
  • Cover any liquids and foods prior to placing them in the refrigerator as moisture in your fridge makes your compressor work harder.
  • Allow foods to cool before placing them in the fridge.
  • Leave a 10cm gap between your fridge and the wall so that airflow allows it to cool.
  • Defrost your fridge regularly—don’t let the ice buildup exceed half an inch as increases energy usage.
  • Set your fridge temperature between 0 and 5°C and keep it well-stocked to improve efficiency.

Dishwasher

  • Dishwashers use most of their energy to heat the water. You can reduce the temperature at which your dishwasher washes and reserve pre-washing or soaking for those really bad dish days.
  • Leave your dishes to air dry by propping the door of your dishwasher open a little when the cycle is done.

General Tips

  • Avoid leaving appliances on standby. These ‘vampire loads’ account for 10-15% of your energy consumption. Get a power bar on a timer or turn appliances off when not in use. Get a coupon for a power bar here.
  • Avoid using appliances for small jobs like opening a can or peeling an apple. When you are using appliances, always choose the smallest one for the job. For example, a hand-held blender uses less power than a food processor and a toaster is more efficient than the oven.
  • Get coupons for lightbulbs, ceiling fans, outdoor clothes lines and other energy-saving household items here.  

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