Save energy around the kitchen – 10 simple tips!
The kitchen is one area in the home where we use a lot of energy, but unfortunately many of us are very wasteful with much of that energy. Whilst the technology on our TV sets has been cutting our electricity use with ultra low energy standbys and LED screens, our hobs still use the same amount of energy to fry your breakfast as a hundred years ago, so it makes sense that there could be some big savings to be made there. Remember, as always if you have some tips of your own you would like to add, please add them to the comments section at the bottom of the article.
1. Lids are there for a reason
Putting a lid on a saucepan really does save masses of energy. The lid stops all the steam you are creating from leaving the pan, and makes sure that heat is put to good use cooking the food. Some suggest it could cut the cost of cooking something on the hob by as much as 90%! That only works if you don’t overcook it and turn the heat down accordingly though.
2. Microwaves are cheap
Although they are often considered poor form for cooking, microwaves are actually great for keeping your bills down. They use a fraction of the energy that an oven uses, so if you have something to reheat, or something you don’t mind cooking in the microwave, it will be worth it for your wallet.
3. Cook and eat together
In this day and age the family meal at the end of the day is becoming a thing of the past, but cooking all the food you need at the same time will save energy. Another quick tip – smaller pieces of food cook quicker – dice that chicken up rather than cooking the bird whole, it will cut the cooking time and save energy!
4. Waste not, want not
Using leftovers and cutting your wasted food doesn’t just help save the planet, it also helps keep your bills down too. Less waste means less cooking. You could try a composter as well for the stuff you really do need to throw away.
5. Fill your freezer
Freezers work better when they are filled with stuff. If you don’t have much to put in there, try putting something in there to reduce the space. Defrosting is also really important – make sure you do this regularly to save energy.
6. Size your white goods
It goes without saying that the bigger your fridge-freezer, the more expensive it will be to run – a big American style fridge makes no sense in a small 1 bed flat. Also remember that as a general rule, a separate fridge and freezer is more expensive to run than a combined unit.
7. Cleaner is cheaper
Your fridge and freezer tend to get a big dust build up around the compressor at the back of the fridge – sticking the vacuum round them every now and then will help prevent the compressor from working as hard, keep it running efficiently and extend their life span.
8. Washing the dishes with a dishwasher
Dishwashers actually use less hot water and often less energy than doing the dishes by hand. They are also a lot easier! So use them if you have them, but try and make sure you have a full load before you turn it on.
9. Our old favourite – the kettle
Kettles seem to be the big thing everyone talks about when it comes to wasting energy – but with good reason. Water in the kettle is being heated by an electric element, and you are heating it far hotter than your boiler heats water, so it is actually really energy intensive. If you have an old kettle and fancy an upgrade, try our energy saving model.
The other important tip when boiling the kettle is to ensure you don’t overfill it – only boil as much water as you need!
10. Now you are cooking with gas!
Yes the list is done, but one final point worth pondering… Whilst you might not be ready for a new oven, cooking with gas is actually a lot more cost effective than electricity. Why? Because the cost of a unit of gas is about a quarter of the price of electricity, so gas is way cheaper to cook your food. A gas hob also helps you control the temperature a lot better as well, so it is a bit of a win-win.