As energy consumption in the US continues to rise, energy efficiency is more important than ever. The kitchen is one place where you can adopt sustainable practices without sacrificing comfort. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint, mitigate the effects of climate change, and save money on your energy bill!
Here are a few tips and tricks to practice sustainability in the kitchen:
- Reduce and optimize your oven use. Using your oven multiple times a day can lead to a much higher energy bill. Opting for a slow cooker, crockpot or toaster oven can use as little as half the energy that a traditional oven uses. Microwaves also use significantly less energy than ovens. If you must use your oven, do your best to keep the oven door closed while in use and heat all elements of your meal at once! In the summer months, try to use your oven either in the morning or later in the evening to avoid heating up your home in the middle of the day when the temperature is warmest.
- Look for ENERGY STAR appliances. ENERGY STAR appliances are designed to be more energy-efficient than their counterparts. In fact, the EPA estimates that a typical household using ENEGRY STAR appliances can expect to save $450 on their energy bills each year. Alliant Energy even offers rebates for Iowa customers on ENERGY STAR appliances such as refrigerators and freezers.
- Consider switching to an electric stove. If you’re due for a replacement stove, check out the environmental and efficiency benefits of electric stoves. Gas stoves lose heat through the burners, which can waste a lot of energy. Electric stoves have better temperature control, which helps reduce cooking times. Replacing an appliance isn’t necessarily a cheap or easy process, so be sure to check if your energy company has a rebate program.
- Wait until the evening to run your dishwasher – and make sure it’s full. Did you know paying attention to the times you run your dishwasher can result in savings? During peak times like 9-5 pm, when energy demand is high, the cost of energy will be higher. Check with your energy company for options like our time-of-day program. Iowa customers who enroll in the program are billed 50% less for energy use after 8 p.m. In addition, fill your dishwasher completely before running it – this will reduce energy waste.
- Plan what you’re grabbing from the fridge or freezer. We’re all guilty of standing at the fridge while we decide what to eat, but it might be costing you more on your energy bill. One way to reduce energy waste is to plan what you’ll be taking out of the refrigerator or freezer before you open it.
Practicing energy efficiency in the kitchen is a great way to make a difference your carbon footprint and energy bill. For our part, we’re investing in clean energy, which is outlined in our Clean Energy Blueprint. When we work together, we can create a brighter future for all!