“ The kitchen is such an important space and consumes quite a lot of power. With a little planning you can save money each and every year.”
The energy providers have begun the move to time of use pricing for electricity. Time of use is where you pay a different rate for your power depending upon the time of day or the day of the week: Peak, Off-peak and shoulder.
The peak period of usage (higher tariff) is from 2pm to 8pm weekdays. Off-peak is usually 10pm - 7am and shoulder is what's left. Eg. Peak 45c/kWh, Shoulder 18c/kWh, Off-peak 10c/kWh.
Most households will use 3/4 of their power during Peak and Shoulder periods, which translates to higher costs. But better use of off-peak power provides an opportunity for savings.
An efficient LED lighting solution with save you lots over time. LED lights also have a much longer life compared with other forms of lighting so you won't be replacing globes every few months. While they are more expensive to install initially, the cost savings over time make kitchen LED lights a must.
Having a dishwasher with delayed start means you're less likely to forget to run it - just pre-set it when you have the time and if the door is shut it will start washing after you have gone to bed. It also won't be running and making noises when you are entertaining, watching TV or needing quiet time.
You get a big saving because the power usage will be in the off-peak range not the peak range. Dishwashers are usually run at least once a day - that's an everyday saving.
Induction cooking used to be an expensive new technology, and you had to buy new cookware - making it even more expensive. These days most of the new cookware is able to be utilised on an induction cooktop, making it a viable option. Induction is also fast and safe. In my opinion it is better than gas.
There is cost saving because the heat transfers directly to the pot or pan via a magnetic field, and not the surrounding air or cooktop. The high current / low voltage system is more energy efficient than traditional electric cooking. Additionally the cooker will turn off when there is no pot to heat - so it can't be left on to waste electricity without something to heat.
Dinner time is bang in the middle of the Peak tariff for electricity, so cooking the evening dinner at that time will be more expensive than preparing and cooking it earlier in the day. A slow cooker uses less power than cooktops, ovens, rangehoods and the like (especially when combined), even though it might be running all day.
Slow cookers tend to encourage healthier cooking too, and your dinner can be ready to serve the moment you arrive home from work - that's why they are the 'faster' way to cook. So design into your kitchen a space for the slow cooker to sit quietly all day.
Fridges and freezers can cost you more to run than they do to buy (over a year). Always look for the estimated usage per year figures. You need the figures because as the rating systems change, the star ratings become 'out of date'. This means that what used to be 4 star is now just 2.5 stars.
Fridges also need good ventilation to work efficiently - don't neglect this when planning your layout. Space at the rear is important, as are vents to encourage air flow.
It's common practice to put your old fridge / freezer in the garage (where the room temperature is usually hotter), then overfill it so it doesn't run efficiently. This sort of arrangement can cost you a lot, so when shopping for a fridge get one big enough for your needs today and in the future, then throw out the old fridge.
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