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Saving energy and electricity in the kitchen

28 Apr 2015

The weather is cooling and that means higher winter energy bills. There are some simple steps you can take to save energy in the kitchen – with the added bonus that becoming more energy efficient reduces your carbon footprint. Christian Hoerning from EECA ENERGYWISE shares his tips.

Ventilation

Ventilation is a top priority in the kitchen because cold, damp homes are harder to heat and prone to mould – leading to respiratory conditions. Use an externally vented rangehood to help prevent moisture building up in the kitchen.

Put lids on your pots when you cook – that reduces energy consumption, as well as minimising the amount of steam escaping into the room.

Saving on running costs

If you run the dishwasher several times a day, try running it only when it is full and using cold water to give the dishes a good rinse. You may also find there is an eco setting on your dishwasher that will reduce running costs.

If you boil the jug for tea and coffee many times a day, only boil as much water as you need, rather than filling up the jug.

When cooking, don’t boil the food too hard – turn down the thermostat to the required temperature.

Fridges and freezers guzzle a lot of electricity so make sure these appliances are running at the right temperature. Your fridge should run at between 2-4 degrees Celsius and your freezers should run at minus 15 to minus 18 degrees Celsius.

Other energy saving tips for fridge/freezers include positioning them away from the oven and out of direct sunlight and not leaving the fridge door open longer than necessary. Let food cool down before putting it in the fridge and defrost food in the fridge or on kitchen bench before cooking

If you are in the market for whiteware, think carefully about the size of the appliances you need – there’s no point paying for a huge fridge or freezer if you only keep a few items in it. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products for superior energy efficiency. For example an ENERGY STAR qualified fridge/freezer costs 40 percent less to run than a standard model. You can also use the Energy Rating Label to compare energy consumption between different models.

Switching to energy efficient light bulbs will also help you save. Did you know you pay 400% more to run a standard bulb instead of an energy efficient LED bulb? This technology is relatively new so make sure you buy known brands.

Standby power

If you don’t turn appliances off at the wall, they continue to slowly consume electricity – this is known as standby power. There are many appliances you can switch off at the wall, including your dishwasher, bread maker, slow cooker, microwave, toaster and mobile phone chargers.