15 Ways to Save Electricity in the Kitchen

Energy efficient oven use

Many Australians are more than conscious of the rising cost of living lately so we here at Sarros Electrical put our heads together to create a list of pointers that will help you save electricity in the kitchen.

We were amazed that even small changes to our daily habits and using nature to our advantage can make a big difference on power consumption in our kitchens, ultimately reducing our average power bill!

You can save electricity in your kitchen too! Take a look at our list of 15 ways to save electricity in the kitchen so you can save on your electricity bills.

We’ve also included a bonus tip on how to save on gas consumption at the end.

Saving electricity across the board

Here’s a few tips to keep in mind in general.

1: Unplug unused appliances

Appliances often consume a trickle of electricity when left on standby drip feeding your electricity bill!

Unplugging or turning off the power point to appliances you’re not currently using, such as the microwave, dishwasher, and electric oven, will ensure the electricity you pay for is only used when you need it.

Fridges and freezers need to stay on all the time though to keep your food safe. As soon as food goes above 5°C, it will start spoiling irreversibly, so don’t turn fridges and freezers off. The extra re-cooling effort nullifies any savings gained by turning them off anyway – it’s like when you first turn the AC on in a car and it needs to crank to get things cool!

2: Save energy with proper seals!

Bad seals cause your fridge and oven to work harder to either cool things down or cook because air escapes! Keep your hard-earned money tightly sealed by:

  • Keeping your oven and fridge seals clean and free of gunk.
  • Checking for and repairing any tears or damage to seals.
  • Replacing seals that don’t… well… seal!

A good way to test seals is to close the door on a piece of paper that’s in between. When the door is closed, the paper should stay there, and it shouldn’t be too easy to pull out. If the paper falls out or has no resistance when pulling it out, the seals are no longer sealing properly and should be cleaned or replaced.

There's many ways to save electricity in the kitchen
There’s many ways to save electricity in the kitchen.

3: Choose energy efficient appliances that are the perfect size for you

Energy efficient appliances save you money in the long term! And efficient appliances that aren’t overly big save you even more money!

For example, whilst families may need a big fridge, small households and apartments may get away with a smaller fridge that uses less electricity.

4: Light bulb moment! Have energy efficient light in the kitchen

We often use our kitchens at night when there’s no solar power to help us. Having energy efficient LED lighting ensures we use electricity where it counts.

Be sure to turn off the lights once you’re finished in the kitchen too. Often rangehood and oven lights are not LED and burn more electricity.

Saving energy with your fridge

Whilst modern fridges have become much more economical when compared to old fridges, they still use a substantial amount of your home’s electricity! This is because they are working 24/7 (please don’t turn your fridge off overnight to save electricity as food can spoil, making you sick).

So, what are some worthwhile ways to save energy with your refrigerator?

5: Leave a small gap between the fridge and walls

Leaving a gap ranging between 5cm and 9cm allows cool air to effectively circulate and can drop the running cost of your fridge by up to 15%. This is especially helpful if your fridge is up against a wall that may be exposed to sunlight or other sources of warmth.

6: The fridge only likes cool stuff!

Allowing hot food to cool down naturally before placing it in the fridge reduces the energy required for your fridge to cool it down. Set an alarm on your phone to ensure you don’t accidentally leave food out too long.

7: Keep the coils clean

Whilst we’re talking about air circulation – keeping the fridge coils dust free allows them to be as efficient as possible as air can circulate freely. Your fridge coils will thank you for it – with reduced electricity bills!

8: Would you chuck your grandparents in the garage? So why are you putting your old fridge in there?

The garage can get hot; it’s not comfortable like inside your home! Not only do old fridges use more energy than modern fridges, but they’ll be exerting themselves like grandpa at the gym just to keep your drinks cool!

It’s best, if possible, to only have one fridge running for all your needs – for both food and drink! But if you must use a second fridge, be sure to place it in a cool area with adequate spacing.

9: Shut the fridge door!

We’ve all done it – you open the fridge and stare, only to forget why you opened the fridge in the first place. Meanwhile, all that cold air is running away, down towards your feet. Your fridge hates you for it because now it needs to work hard to cool down all that air again!

The best habit that saves electricity is to decide what you need before you open the fridge door and minimise the time the fridge door is open!

Minimise the time the fridge door is open
Decide on what you want before opening the fridge door!

Saving energy with your oven

Cooking up a storm shouldn’t take lightning loads of electricity! Here’s how you can be smart with your oven:

10: Shut the oven door – and keep it shut!

Not only should we keep the fridge door shut, it’s also best to keep the oven door shut as much as possible! Every time you open it, all that hot air comes out and your poor oven must work harder to get things cooking again!

11: Ovens make good multitaskers!

A bit of careful planning can see dinner, dessert and tomorrow’s lunch all cooked in one session! Reducing the number of times you need to use the oven obviously does wonders with saving on your power bills.

Saving energy with your dishwasher

Modern dishwashers are quite power efficient, but more can be done:

12: Air drying

There’s no need to waste energy by running the drying cycle. Simply stop the dishwasher before it starts the drying cycle and open the door, this will allow the dishes to dry naturally and will cost you nothing.

13: Full loads are best – but not too full!

Fill up the dishwasher before you start a cycle, but don’t overfill it to the point that your dishes aren’t properly cleaned (as you’ll waste more time and energy with a second clean).

14: The dishwasher and fridge are not best friends!

Remember that the dishwasher wants to heat water up, and the fridge wants to cool things down so keep them separate to conserve precious energy.

…and finally, saving gas and electricity while cooking

Saving money doesn’t boil down to just saving electricity – we want to be economical with all our resources! Here are a few bonus tips to save on gas or electricity (depending on the set up of your kitchen).

15: Save energy while cooking

Being aware of these pointers and small changes to your habits will see long-term reduced energy consumption – meaning lower bills for you and your family.

  • When heating smaller portions of food, use the microwave instead of the stove; it’s simply more energy efficient!
  • Boil water in the kettle rather than the stove top (a big thank you to Australia’s 240V system!). Then carefully transfer it to where you need it (such as your pot or pan for cooking). This is more efficient than heating cold water on your stove.
  • Cover pots and pans with their lid. This keeps more heat in the pot, so less gas or electricity is needed to cook your food.
  • Use a proportionally sized burner: Using a large burner for a small pot means so much heat energy is going up the side of your pot to the range hood – now we’re not planning to eat anything cooking up there are we? The tip of the flame should be under the pot or pan!
  • Turn the heat off a few minutes before your food is fully cooked, particularly for those of us with electric stove tops. The residual heat from the hot stovetop will complete the cooking without any further cost to you!
  • Chopping your vegetables into smaller pieces means they’ll cook faster, and dinnertime will be sooner – now that’s cooking with gas!
Finely diced vegetables cook faster
Chopping your veggies smaller means they’ll cook faster, using less gas.

Small changes, big savings!

We hope these pointers help you and your family reduce your electricity bills. Habits form the basis of our lives, so why not make energy-saving one of yours?

Saving energy not only saves you money, but reduces our impact on our environment, so everyone’s a winner!

Reilly is the founder of Sarros Electrical and loves providing WA families with quality electrical work and advice on all things electrical. With over 15 years in the industry, Reilly has seen the best and worst electrical companies, as well as their ultimate outcomes. Bringing up his own family in Perth, with family ties in the South West, Reilly understands the importance of electrical safety and smart use of electricity for a better tomorrow in WA.

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