The kitchen is often the busiest room in the house, and also the biggest energy user. Refrigeration, kitchen electronics, dishwashing and cooking are major consumers of energy and indirectly a cause of... greenhouse gas emissions.
Controlling what’s going on in our kitchens is important for energy savings.
Refrigerators are high-energy consuming appliances. They run 356 days a year, day and night, and account for about 8% of most household's energy bills.
Replacing old units can provide energy savings of $100 or more per year, but there are other features that you should care about.
New dishwashers consume a fraction of the water and energy of older units. But – for significant energy savings – you have also to use your dishwasher in a smart way.
Use full loads and pay attention to the dishwasher thermostat settings, to its energy savings options and to the No-Heat Air-Dry feature…
Cast a critical eye on kitchen electronics: electric kettles, toasters, coffee machines, coffee grinders, electric deep fryers, food processors, electric juice extractors, electric grills, bread makers, yogurt makers, ice-cream makers, electric knives, electric boilers, and so on.
Some are unquestionably useful, but others aren't. A significant part of these devices aren't really labor-saving, time-saving, environmentally-friendly or useful. And since they are many, they consume a lot more energy than expected.
Kitchen hot water heating
Dishwashers and other appliances consume large amounts of hot water. But it hasn't to be so. See: Hot Water Heating Energy Efficiency
Gas or Electric cooking?
If you don’t cook much, electric cooking can be a reasonable or good option; but for those who cook regularly natural gas is better, from an energy-efficiency standpoint.
The use of gas requires direct venting, but when available and normally priced, natural gas is more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly than electricity (unless you are using photovoltaic power).
Energy efficient cooking appliances
Microwave ovens reduce energy consumption by reducing cooking time.
Whenever possible use convective pans and copper-bottom pans (instead of regular pans) and glass and ceramic oven pans (instead of metal pans). Energy savings can amount to 20%.
Kitchen Savings & cooking times...
For energy savings in your kitchen, consider…
- defrosting frozen foods before cooking them;
- keeping preheat times to a minimum, when using conventional ovens;
- turning off the oven some minutes before the cooking time is up; the idea is to use the residual heat to finish the dish.
- matching the pan size to the electric cook-top, or the gas flame;
- cooking for several meals, in advance; reheating prepared food involves a fraction of the energy…