Make energy and dollar savings in the kitchen
WHEN it comes to being energy-wise around the home, it’s the little things that can make all the difference.
Whether it’s switching off lights when you leave a room, buying energy-efficient appliances or avoiding opening oven doors when baking, every little bit helps to conserve energy while also saving you money.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is working in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote sustainable housing practices.
“Reducing our impact on the environment is not hard. Little things - like switching lights off when you leave a room – reduce greenhouse gases and save you money on your energy costs,” EPA Sustainable Industries Division executive director Dr John Cole said.
“It’s the little things we do that can make a difference. We can all cut our household energy use, and if we join forces, we can cut the State’s power bill and its greenhouse emissions.”
REIQ executive manager Leonie Foster said homebuyers have looked upon energy and water-efficient homes favourably for a number of years due to the costs associated with electricity and water.
“This attitude has become more prevalent over recent times, especially in the south east, due to the ongoing drought. Across the State people are now more community-minded and are increasingly aware of their personal responsibility for conserving precious and scarce natural resources,” she said.
In a typical Queensland household, energy costs in the kitchen alone can be between $75 and $90 a quarter, but by adhering to a few energy-wise practices you can save money and help the environment. The EPA recommends a number of ways to be more energy conscious in the kitchen:
- When buying a new fridge, freezer or dishwasher, select one with the best energy star rating you can afford and that meets your needs;
- Well-maintained cyclic defrost refrigerators are more economical than frost-free ones;
- Where practical, switch off appliances at the power point – you can save up to $100 a year on your electricity bill;
- Avoid leaving the fridge door open and ensure door seals are working efficiently;
- Defrost the freezer when there is a 6mm frost build-up;
- Set the temperature between 2°C and 5°C for the refrigerator and between -11°C and -23°C for the freezer; and
- Place the fridge in a cool, well-ventilated position out of direct sunlight and not adjacent to a heat source such as an oven.
Other energy-wise tips in the kitchen include using lids on pots and saucepans where possible to reduce cooking time, using the fan forced setting (if applicable) on ovens, only running your dishwasher with a full load, and using the economy setting on your dishwasher to wash lightly soiled dishes to save water.