By Katrina Lander
If you’re looking for ways to lower your energy bills in the kitchen, implementing several small changes to the way you cook and use your appliances can offer long-term savings on your outgoings.
See the list below for some tips to use less energy and pay less this winter for those must-have utilities.
Make use of your microwave
Microwaves are much more energy efficient than ovens, so try to make the most of using it when you can.
- Reheat your food in the microwave as opposed to your oven, remembering to stir your food halfway through to ensure your food heats up evenly.
- Did you know you can cook numerous main courses in the microwave? There are plenty of recipes online for microwaveable meals, plus they’re quicker to make, a win-win if you ask me.
- If you love porridge as much as me, cook it in the microwave as opposed to using the stove, saving both time and energy.
- Another favourite of mine is microwaveable eggs, poached and scrambled can both be made in your microwave.
How to save energy using your oven
- Batch cooking is a great way to make the most out of your oven. You can cook several meals in one go which will save energy (and time). Remember to let your food cool down completely before adding to your fridge or freezer.
- Pre boil your vegetables and potatoes before adding to your oven, which will result in less cooking time.
- Turn your oven off 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, the residual heat will continue to cook your food. Once you’re finished cooking, open the oven door to heat your kitchen.
- Avoid opening the oven door in-between cooking (as tempting as it is). Every time the oven door is open you are losing part of the heat, as a result your oven will need to use more energy to reach the set temperature again.
Make the most out of your air fryer
- Air fryers consume much less energy than ovens and can be used to make plenty of meals and even desserts. They’re essentially mini ovens, meaning you’re heating a significantly smaller area in less time.
- Don’t wait for your air fryer to pre heat, it’s not necessary and will result in your air fryer being on for longer.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket, it will prevent the food from cooking evenly and ultimately take longer to cook. Turn/shake your food halfway through the cooking time (some air fryers beep to remind you of this).
- Did you know you can bake cakes in the air fryer? It takes less time and less energy than baking in the oven and they turn out great.
Switch off your appliances
- Even though you may not be using certain appliances, they are still using electricity and costing money when left on standby mode. Consider turning these off to avoid paying more than you need on your electricity bill.
- If/when you’re buying a new appliance, be sure to look out for its energy label. In March 2021 new energy labels were introduced which simplified the way energy efficiency is displayed on a scale from A-G.
- Appliances energy ratings are categorised by their size and are rated from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). Be sure to check the energy label and opt for the appliance with the best energy rating which is the right size for you.
Cover your pots and pans
- It may sound simple, but using a lid on your pots and pans when boiling water and when cooking can result in less cooking time altogether. The lid keeps the heat in the pan and locks in moisture, reducing cooking time and overall energy consumption.
Defrost your freezer
- Over time the ice builds up in freezers, unfortunately the more ice your freezer has, the harder the motor is working, and therefore the more energy that is being used. It’s therefore important to defrost your freezer, aim to do it at least once a year, or more if your freezer is looking a little too icy.