Make en­ergy and dol­lar sav­ings in the kitchen

Whitsunday Times - - DOMAIN -

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.

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