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Reducing Energy Costs in the Kitchen

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The last ten years have seen massive enhancements in technology and efficiency standards that make saving electricity a lot easier than was the case in the past. The more energy-efficient an appliance is, the less it costs to run and the less carbon dioxide it emits, which is great for the environment.

Installing the most energy-efficient equipment can save up to $400 on utility bills and extend the working life of the appliances. Here are tips to help you cut costs in the kitchen and save on your energy bills.

1. Buy energy-efficient appliances.

Energy Star is the symbol for energy efficiency. Appliances carrying the Energy Star label are designed to use the minimum amount of energy as possible to complete their tasks. Older appliances consume far more electricity than newer models, and you’ll see considerable savings when you replace appliances that are at least 10 years old.

Top Tips for Buying Energy Efficient Appliances

  • If you’re looking to replace your washing machine, shop for a washer with a faster spin speed to reduce drying time and adjustable water levels so you can use less water to wash smaller loads.
  • If you’re in the market for a dishwasher, look for one with a light wash or energy saving cycle. This option uses less water and operates for a shorter time period for dishes that are not extremely dirty. Dishwashers with the CEE tier seal (Consortium for Energy Efficiency) are considered most energy efficient.
  • If you own a newer dishwasher, pre-rinsing before putting your dishes in the dishwasher is unnecessary, unless you have dried-on food residues on the plates. Modern dishwashers are very efficient. However, since newer machines provide the option of using a light load which uses less water and operates for a shorter period of time, you can soak or pre-rinse your dishes and use a light load which will use less energy.
  • When replacing your TV be sure to get an LED screen as they are extremely energy-efficient, with most sets consuming fewer than 150 watts. Look for the energy-saving Trust recommended label. That way, you can be sure you are buying a TV with optimised energy-saving features.
  • If you’re in the market for a new dryer, look for a model that automatically stops the dryer when clothes are dry.

2. Switch off standby.

Always turn off your appliances after you finish using them. Appliances will use energy for the entire time they’re plugged in even when they are switched off. Leaving appliances on standby doesn’t use as much electricity as when they are actually on, but the older the model, the more electricity they are likely to use.

3. Plug your appliances into a smart power strip.

A smart power strip is designed to protect your devices and help you save on energy costs. It can detect when a device is in standby mode so they can cut off power and save energy. This can drastically reduce your overall energy usage, which will decrease your utility bills.

4. Always wash with a full load.

Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers are more efficient with fuller loads while eco cycles use less water and electricity than other programs. A half load uses just as much energy as a full load, so you may want to wait until you have a full load before you wash. This means you’ll do fewer washes and save on your energy bill. When you run your appliances, you should always get your money’s worth.

5. Avoid overloading your appliances.

Overloading your washing machines, dryers or dishwashers means they will use more energy and will work less efficiently. For example, if there’s not much air for the dryer to do its job, you’ll most likely have to run it at least three times to dry your clothes.

6. Use correct wash cycles for the load you’re washing.

Lightly dirty clothes can be washed on a short cycle with cold water, while bed linen, towels, socks and underwear typically need to be washed with hot water using a longer cycle. Always use cold water for the rinse cycle.

7. Use tumble-dryer dryer balls to reduce your drying time.

Dry towels and heavy cottons in a separate load from lightweight materials. Air dry your towels in summer to save energy.

8. Clean your dryer lint filter.

Lint is the fluffy residue from your clothes, and it collects in the filter. When it gets clogged, it blocks heated air. A clogged lint screen can waste as much as 30 percent more energy. This means the dryer will use more energy to dry your clothes, which will also take longer to dry. Cleaning the lint screen on the dryer every time you use the machine can save you money and time.