Saving energy in your kitchen isn’t hard if you look towards your appliances. Don’t worry, you don’t have to replace every appliance in your kitchen to achieve a lower monthly bill. Just follow these simple energy saving hacks to reduce the amount of energy you’re using on a daily basis.
Your appliances & energy
There’s been a big push recently in improving our energy consumption awareness. In the home, and with our appliances. There was an incredible development in the efficiency of appliances over the last decade, so much so that energy labels needed updating.
These updates meant that your once ‘super energy efficient’ appliances were now seemingly a lot less energy efficient. Alas, they were not. It just allowed for the scope of your appliances energy efficiency to increase. Now, there’s a number of much higher rated appliances, and the target to make our homes more energy efficient is a lot more achievable.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, cooking takes up nearly 14% of the average UK home’s electricity use. This is a huge proportion when you factor in the rest of your house. Similarly, fridge freezers use up a lot of energy as they’re always on. So doing what you can, when you can, to reduce the energy your appliances use, will save you plenty of money in the long run.
1. Load the dishwasher correctly
Using your dishwasher to its fullest capacity will reduce your energy and your water consumption. Although hand washing does use less power than a dishwasher, it uses considerably more water! The most water-efficient full-size dishwasher uses almost 10 times less water to wash the same amount of dishes as washing them by hand.
If you want to use less energy, make sure you’re filling the dishwasher to its indicated capacity (or place settings). Less energy, less water, less detergent. Another thing you can do is use it at off-peak times as indicated by your energy provider. Often, times of low energy usage will be incentivized by a lower rate. If you have a dishwasher with a delay timer, you can set it to run overnight, meaning you can save on your energy bill.
2. Don’t use the kettle as often
Kettles are great for a cuppa! But we also use them for things like filling a pan with hot water, which is simply unnecessary when it’ll take you less energy to heat the pan of water straight from cold on the hob. Although it’ll take you longer, it’ll save you precious energy.
You could also invest in a Quooker for overall better energy efficiency compared to a kettle too. The initial cost of a boiling water tap is quite significant, however the efficiency costs often outweigh this.
3. Cook more, less often
When the oven is on, make the most of it. If you use your oven for an hour, once a day for a week, you’ll be using an average of £1.68p per week (according to Chef’s Pick). This doesn’t take into account the energy rating of the model, so if you use your oven a lot, this can really add up.
Instead of using your oven loads through the week, batch cook in advance to save energy. Batch cooking is incredible for saving energy, as well as other things such as losing weight and saving money on food bills. And if you get a great oven model, you’ll get cooking on every level for perfect multi-level cooking.
4. Make sure your gas hob is showing a blue flame
It’s well known that an induction or ceramic hob is much more efficient than gas. But for you, it might not be convenient to just change your hob over to a new fuel type. So keeping maintenance of your gas hob is of high priority.
Make sure to keep your gas burners clean, as any caked on food will absorb the heat, meaning less is directed towards your pans. Also keep an eye on the colour of your gas. A blue flame is the truest way for you to heat pans on the hob. A yellow or orange flame means that your hob isn’t working as effectively as it should, and you should get an engineer out to have it checked.
5. Make sure pans are the correct size
Induction or electric hobs work most efficiently when the pans fully match the size of the ring or zone. Appropriately sized pans will mean no chance of heat escaping into the air. It’ll also help if they’re completely flat bottomed and clean. Any dents or caked on grease will prevent optimal energy transmission.
6. Having 1 efficient, clean fridge freezer
Fridge freezers are a big culprit when it comes to energy bills, so keeping it low cost with your cooling game is essential. Firstly, try and stick to one fridge freezer. Although a second fridge for extra space or beer may seem tempting, it’ll significantly increase your energy usage.
Secondly, keep the fridge and freezer compartment clean and defrosted. Any ice, especially ice over a ¼ inch thick, will act as insulation to the rest of the freezer compartment. This means that your freezer will be working extra hard to keep all of your food below freezing.
7. Use your microwave more often
If you can heat up your food in the microwave, do so. It’ll save you so much energy compared to using your oven. A microwave is smaller, and the heat is almost instantaneous. It also only heats up the food, rather than the entire cooking compartment. And food takes much less time to cook, so it’s always a good choice if you need food fast!
Did you know you can get a microwave and oven in one? These appliances are called Combi Ovens and they’re incredibly energy efficient. You get the quick heat of the microwave with the crispy benefits of roasting.
8. Dry your clothes outside as much as possible
Although heat pump tumble dryers are the most efficient appliance on the market, this doesn’t mean they cost nothing to run. You’ll save money by drying your clothes the natural way: with a washing line & wind! Now, we know this isn’t an option for everyone. But whether you’ve got a patch of grass or a clothes horse, there’s always a way to dry your clothes for free.
9. Buy energy efficient to start with!
Buying an energy efficient model now will save you money later down the line. It’s as simple as that.
You buy an appliance with the idea that it will last you years. Over ten years, with a certain energy tariff and usage, your appliance has a guaranteed cost to run. When you choose a more efficient appliance, you’re making savings in advance.
You’re future proofing your appliance too. With appliances constantly changing and getting better year on year, buying a better rated appliance now will prevent any problems in the future.
More tips on saving energy in your kitchen!
Improving the energy efficiency of your appliances will reduce a high energy bill. Whether that’s changing to a more energy efficient appliance, or simply becoming more conscious about your choices in the kitchen, either way, you & your kitchen will be better off in the long run.