A third of the energy used in your home is in the kitchen – 5% is used by the fridge alone! In addition to keeping your major appliances clean and operational, there are numerous little tips and tricks for energy and water smart kitchen operations. Start thinking about how you can make energy work overtime for you and get the most for your electric (and water) dollars.
1) Your Fridge
Keep the coils dust-free – it’s as easy as a quick vacuuming. Check the back of the unit and the base behind the toe-kick. The recommended temperature setting is 4; make sure you are not wasting power with temperatures set lower than necessary. When defrosting foods, don’t waste all the money you spent freezing the items; let them work for you by defrosting slowly in the fridge.
2) Cooking Tips
Use a toaster oven, microwave, and/or crockpot instead of a conventional oven when you can; a pressure cooker saves time and money! Use the right sized burner, cover your pots and don’t overfill kettles. Maximize the use of residual heat; let pans of water warm on the stove if the oven is on, stop pre-heating the oven and turn pots and pans off early; let them carry on cooking with the left-over energy.
If you are an EXTREMELY water-frugal dishwasher and can get a plate clean and rinsed with just a cup of water, you might be a better bet than the appliance. As that’s highly unlikely, the best choice for getting the dishes clean is to scrape not rinse, run full dishwasher loads, and switch off the heat dry. Easy-peasy!
Calculate Your Savings:
Savings in the kitchen are hard to estimate as so much depends on your eating habits, but lots of small nips and tucks do add up! We think saving 10% of the one-third or so of home power used in the kitchen is very possible, so a savings of $25. Nearly $5 of that is just from keeping your fridge coils clean (saves about 5% of fridge operating costs so with an average 700 kWh per year, around $4).
Did You Know?
- Over a quarter of American households have a separate fridge for beer (and other drinks).
- Pre-rinsing dishes before loading the dishwashers can use up to 20 gallons of water.