Money is on our minds at the best of times, but many of us will be thinking about managing our finances even more now with the cost of living crisis. The energy price cap has risen by 54 per cent since the beginning of April, so monitoring how much energy household appliances use up has become even more important.
To help figure out where you can cut back, kitchen company Kesseler‘s energy-saving expert, Claire Horne, has shared the five kitchen appliances that use the most energy and are responsible for increasing your bills, as well as some money-saving tips.
Claire says: ‘If you are buying new appliances then make sure you buy the correct sizes for your home. Buying a fridge which is big enough to keep food for a family of six when you live on your own will cost much more than necessary.
‘On the other hand, buying smaller appliances, in an attempt to save money, when actually you require a much bigger fridge space, will cause your fridge to work harder to keep food cooler, resulting in more money spent on your bill.’
If you’re looking to invest in a new appliance, it’s always wise to check the energy rating on it too. ‘All appliances are given an A-G rating, with many on the higher end of the scale being a similar price to those on the lower end,’ Claire explains. ‘It is advisable to opt for an appliance with a better energy rating, as having a more energy efficient appliance will save money in the long run, as well as reduce your household’s carbon footprint.’
So which appliances exactly are sucking up the most energy in the kitchen?
Appliances that use the most energy in your kitchen
Fridge and freezer
We can’t do without them, but fridges and freezers consume ’12 per cent of the average household’s energy bill’.
While we obviously can’t just turn them off, but Claire suggests defrosting the freezer regularly to keep it running efficiently. ‘Even just one quarter of an inch can reduce the efficiency of a freezer by 10 per cent, so make sure all built up ice is removed.’
Claire says you should turn an extractor fan on when you start cooking but only keep it running for 5-10 minutes after you finish, which should be enough time to remove smells and fumes from the air.
‘An inefficient extractor fan will encourage users to keep it on for longer,’ she adds, ‘which can potentially add up to £20 per year to your bill.’
Ovens can often be neglected when it comes to cleaning, but a dirty oven uses more energy to cook than a clean one, and could add up to £30 a year to your energy bill.
One of Claire’s tips for saving energy from the oven is by turning it off up to five minutes before you’ve finished cooking (and leave the door shut). The oven should stay hot enough so the food can continue to cook.
‘Doing this at every meal time will considerably lower your energy bill,’ she says.
The average household spends £90 a year on using electric hobs, especially as they take longer to heat up than a gas hob.
‘The average cost of an electric hob will increase the older the hob gets or if the hob becomes damaged and dirty, so maintenance is crucial to keep it running as efficiently as possible,’ Claire explains.
She also debunks the myth that using a smaller pan on a bigger hob will make it heat up quicker. ‘It will simply waste more energy,’ she says, ‘Instead, make sure you use the correct sized pan for each ring.’
Another tip is to use the microwave instead of the hob for things like heating up leftovers, as microwaves are the most energy-efficient way to cook and ‘will only cost £3 a year’ when used ‘for 10 minutes per day’.
Don’t worry, we’re not about to suggest you drink less tea and coffee. But filling up the kettle more than you need to can cost a lot.
‘In fact, research shows that boiling your full kettle just four times a day can add £60 to your energy bill,’ Claire says. ‘Being mindful with how much water you really need means less electricity waste and can help save water too.’
But get this, your kettle will still use energy even when you’re not using it. Claire explains: ‘By not switching your kettle off at the mains, electricity will continue to run through, adding £10 to your annual bill. Avoid this unnecessary expense by simply switching off the kettle at the plug whenever you aren’t using it.’
Be right back, we’re just going to turn the kettle off…