Here are some quick and easy options to help you save energy in the kitchen from LJ Hooker.

Cooking with gas
If possible, use gas for cooking. Gas is generally cheaper and it’s less damaging to the environment than coal-fired electricity production.

Turn the gas down to keep flames under the pot rather than up the sides. Gently simmer pots with the lid on rather than boiling vigorously.

If you have to use electricity to cook, use a microwave where practical.

Boil the water you need
Use an electric kettle instead of the electric stovetop to boil water. Fill the kettle with only as much water as you need.

Making toast
Cooking toast in a toaster instead of under the grill reduces energy use by up to 75%.

Choose energy and water efficient appliances
The Energy Rating label enables you to compare the energy efficiency of domestic appliances in a fair and balanced way.

The higher the “stars” the better, especially with high-energy appliances like fridges; the extra cost can be recouped within the first year of ownership.

To compare specific appliances such as air conditioners, clothes dryers, clothes washers, dishwashers and TVs, visit energyrating.gov.au.

Save rinsing water
Rinse vegetables over a bowl and tip the water in the garden or a pot plant. You can also buy tubs with a handle and plug, which fit snugly in the kitchen sink to make it easy to transport water to the garden.

Run a full load in the dishwasher
The less the dishwasher is used the more energy is saved. And wait until the dishwasher is full before running it; cleaning a small number of dishes is a waste of water.

Connecting the dishwasher to the hot water tap so it doesn’t have to heat its own water will save on running costs.

Scrape rather than rinse
Scrape dishes rather than rinse before washing where possible, or use less water by not rinsing dishes under running water.

Keep the fridge well ventilated
Ensure you leave at least 50mm of space at the top, back and sides to improve ventilation and let your fridge work at its best.

Place the fridge in a cool spot
Locate fridges and freezers in cool spots, away from direct sun and other heat sources such as stoves.

Don’t open the fridge door too often
In most households, the fridge uses more power than any other appliance. To cut energy use, try to limit the number of times you open the fridge door, and never leave it open.

The recommended operating temperature for a fridge is 3°C to 5°C. For freezers, the recommended range is minus 15 to minus 18°C.

Don’t place hot items in the fridge
Wait until a dish has cooled down before placing it in the fridge. Put cold items back into the fridge after use rather than letting them warm to room temperature.

Switch off the second fridge
If you have a second fridge, consider how often your “drinks fridge” is really used. Turn it on only when you need it, such as for parties or when you have guests staying, and put the drinks you use on a daily basis in the main fridge.

A second fridge can cost up to three cartons of beer a year to run.

Check the age of your fridge
If your fridge is over 10 years old, it may pay to consider replacing it as fridge efficiency has improved considerably in the past 10 years.

Check fridge seals
Check and clean seals on your fridge to make sure the door closes securely. You can do this by putting a piece of paper or even a $5 note between the door and the fridge cabinet. Close the door. Try to gently pull the paper out; if it slips out easily with no suction of the paper, you may need to take a closer look to see if cool air is escaping.

If so, replace the seals or adjust the door hinge. If there is some “drag” on the paper the seal is working. Regularly remove any frost build-up in the freezer.

For more tips on saving energy, visit liveability.com.au