We all know that household bills are on the rise — and the need for energy conservation is at an all-time high.
We can’t control everything, but what we can control is what’s happening in our own homes, and specifically, our kitchens — the room that often has the most appliances that use the most energy.
So, here are some tried and tested energy saving tips that keep you comfortable and on budget as the winter months come along.
One of the simplest (and it does sound simple) energy saving tips for the kitchen is to use only what you need.
For example, if you’re making two teas, you only need two teas’ worth of water. Everything from choosing the right-sized hob for the pan you’re using, to having the oven at the right temperature for the right time is key to how you reduce energy bills.
These daily habits will start to manifest into everyday wins, helping you reduce consumption and therefore reduce waste for the benefit of the planet.
Now, don’t go turning the fridge off. Nobody wants to wake up to room-temperature milk. But step one of thinking about how to make your kitchen more energy efficient should be to get into the habit of unplugging what can be unplugged.
That toaster isn’t doing any toasting overnight, the kettle isn’t making itself midnight brews, but what they are both doing is gradually and constantly using power.
This isn’t about depriving yourself of comforts, just making sure you’re not paying for what you don’t need to.
Modern electronics in the UK should all come with an energy efficiency rating between A and G. A is good: saving-the-planet, saving-your-wallet good. G is bad.
If your rental property already comes with built-in kitchen appliances, then be sure to check the energy ratings of your smaller appliances — kettles, toasters, blenders, coffee machines etc. — when buying new ones.
And some things are just more efficient than others. Say you want some hearty, slow-cooked stew as the nights are drawing in. You could leave it simmering on the gas-guzzling hob for hours — or leave it in a slow cooker which uses slightly more electricity than a lightbulb. Both are delicious; one is efficient.
Use the right kitchen appliance for the right job. Using a grill is more energy efficient than heating the whole oven. A microwave can heat food far more quickly, and you can actually make a pretty good microwavable cake in one (who knew energy saving tips could taste so good!)
If you are using the oven, keep the oven door closed as much as possible. Every time it’s opened, the temperature inside plummets (by up to 25 degrees) and has to be reheated all over again.
And if the oven’s on, put it to good use — why not double up the portions and treat yourself to some leftovers tomorrow?
Unless they are covered in the toughest, most resistant stains, washing your clothes at 30 degrees gets them sparkling clean and will save you 40 percent of total energy usage annually.
For those more stubborn stains, reduce energy consumption from your washing machine by soaking clothes beforehand so that you can use the shortest cycle possible.
And, of course, it’s always more efficient to do a full wash rather than a few pairs of socks and a t-shirt at a time.
These energy saving hacks can get you started in the kitchen, but it doesn’t stop there. Check out our full list of rental property energy saving tips to look after your home, your bank balance, and the planet. It’s not about giving up the good things; instead, it’s just about being more efficient and enjoying a happy, low-carbon life.
Get Living has teamed up with Billing Better to help residents consolidate and manage their household bills. Through Billing Better you can: