3 easy tips to save electricity in the kitchen

Save-energy

Thankfully things are looking up for the coming months as restrictions ease, restaurants open and the curve stays flat (fingers crossed). Interestingly, Channel 9’s research shows that more and more of us are choosing to stay in and cook up a storm at home. This rang true for some of us here at Nectr, so we decided to take a deep dive into how we can be more energy conscious and eco-friendly in the kitchen.

In this post we’ll talk about hidden energy sappers in the kitchen, forming good habits around electricity usage and awareness of ongoing costs that can be reduced at the flip of a switch. Here’s what we learned.

#1 find hidden energy sappers in the kitchen

Electric ovens can be quite power-hungry, so use them thoughtfully. Don’t open the oven to check on your food mid-cook, if you can, check on the progress by looking through the glass. Try not to pre-heat it for a long time. An investment in an air fryer can also yield long term energy savings.

Next is the electric stovetop. When cooking on the stovetop, consider the size of your pot and how much liquid you use as this can greatly influence cooking time (and therefore electricity).

Old cookware can cost you in energy bills too. A warped pot can waste 50% of the heat used on a stovetop. Glass, cast iron, or ceramic pans are best in the oven, stovetops love copper pots (unless of course, you have an induction cooktop). Splurge a little today, save starting tomorrow!

It’s generally better to invest in countertop appliances like a pressure cooker or a slow cooker if you can. Rice cookers are one of our favourites. Not only do they use less energy, but they are designed to cook rice to perfection.

Electric ovens can be quite power-hungry, so use them thoughtfully. Don’t open the oven to check on your food mid-cook, if you can, check on the progress by looking through the glass. Try not to pre-heat it for a long time. An investment in an air fryer can also yield long term energy savings.

Next is the electric stovetop. When cooking on the stovetop, consider the size of your pot and how much liquid you use as this can greatly influence cooking time (and therefore electricity).

Old cookware can cost you in energy bills too. A warped pot can waste 50% of the heat used on a stovetop. Glass, cast iron, or ceramic pans are best in the oven, stovetops love copper pots (unless of course, you have an induction cooktop). Splurge a little today, save starting tomorrow!

It’s generally better to invest in countertop appliances like a pressure cooker or a slow cooker if you can. Rice cookers are one of our favourites. Not only do they use less energy, but they are designed to cook rice to perfection.

It’s also true that the microwave uses less energy than a stovetop, but the saving is only around 10%. So, you decide. At Nectr we’re sticking with the stovetop.

Use the right size of appliance for your needs – kitchen appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, kettles and cookers have become more energy-efficient over the years. But if all you keep in your fridge is a bottle of gin and a lemon (yes, I’m looking at you) do you really need a full-size fridge-freezer?

Refrigerator condenser coils – these are located at the back of your fridge and help to cool and condense the fridge. If they are exposed you can give them a vacuum next time you do your carpets to help the air circulate.

cooking

#2 form habits around preserving electricity usage

Here are some electricity-saving tips and tricks to keep up your sleeve:

  • Wipe down your stovetop – if your burner plates have blackened they will use more energy
  • Turn off your small appliances at the socket if you remember
  • Boil only as much or little water as you need
  • Keep your fridge at 5 degrees Celsius or less. On average, many Aussies keep our fridges at 7 degrees Celsius, which means our food may go off sooner
  • Defrost your fridge or freezer regularly, and wait for food to cool down before putting it in the fridge
  • Ensure there’s at least a 10cm gap behind your fridge to let heat flow away more easily
  • Try to remember to thaw your food in the fridge instead of using the microwave to defrost

#3 cook meals the green way

Use the right appliance. As a rule of thumb, smaller appliances use less energy. It’s simple – a toaster uses less than the grill, microwave less than an oven etc. But smaller pots and pans also use less electricity than larger ones. So, don’t reach for your biggest frying pan to cook one egg.

Putting your pot directly over the stovetop plate and covering it with a lid will also preserve electricity, while also saving time and money.

Kettles also use less energy to heat water in, rather than the stove. Boil water in a kettle and transfer it into a pot once it’s already boiled.

Turn off the heat a couple of minutes before your food is fully cooked – particularly if you’ve got an electric hob, as they take some time to cool down and will continue to cook your food.

Simple meals often require less cooking, so next time you’re craving that big bowl of pasta remind yourself that you’re actually doing something good for the planet. In fact, you could prepare a few meals in advance.

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