Cooking and hot water energy saving tips

Cooking

  • Use small appliances wherever possible.
  • Don't over-fill pots with water when cooking vegetables.
  • Limit the times the oven door is opened, as this can cause up to 15% loss of hot air each time the door is opened.
  • Inspect the seal around the oven. If it is damaged or perished replace it.
  • Turn the oven off several minutes before you remove the food and leave the door open to allow the remaining heat to enter the room.
  • Simmer food, never boil furiously.
  • Save energy when cooking vegetables by using stacking steamers, thereby using only one hotplate.
  • When steaming, use the minimum of water needed and keep the lid on.
  • Thaw foods before cooking.
  • Clean hotplate reflectors so that the heat is diverted upwards and works more efficiently.
  • Use the correct size saucepan to fit the stove plate.
  • Use flat bottom pots and saucepans.
  • Use the correct size lids on pots and saucepans.
  • Cook toast in a toaster, not under the grill.
  • Don't use your stove as a room heater.
  • Use an electric frypan instead of using a large oven.
  • Cook two or more dishes in the oven at once.
  • Have a baking day, or bake biscuits and cakes before and after using oven for a roast.
  • Use microwave ovens where possible. Microwave ovens, because of their smaller wattage and faster cooking times, use up to 70% less electricity than convectional cooking methods.
  • Keep your microwave clean to reduce cooking times to a minimum.
  • An oven rangehood that is free of grease and baked in residue will work more efficiently.
  • When preparing small meals use a toaster oven instead of using a large oven.
  • Use a jug/kettle, not the stove, to boil water. Not only will it heat water quickly, it is also 50% more efficient.
  • Try not to overfill your electric jug, especially if it has been designed so that it can boil one cup of water.
  • Fill the kettle from the cold water tap.

Hot water

  • Set the cylinder to 60°C, which is the minimum recommended storage temperature.
  • Locate the hot water cylinder near hot water taps used the most, for example bathroom and kitchen.
  • Insulate the pipes for the first couple of meters from the hot water system. You can get piping insulation from your local hardware store.
  • Shower rather than bath, as a short shower will use less water.
  • Wash clothes in cold water, using cold water specific laundry powders.
  • Never rinse dirty dishes or utensils under the running hot water tap – always wash up by plugging the sink.
  • Don't allow hot water to run down the sink as you wash or shave.
  • Avoid using small amounts of hot water if cold water will do. Each time you run the hot tap a litre or more of water that was heated goes cold.
  • Switch off your hot water system when on holidays or if you're going away for a week or more.
  • Use flow restrictors or AAA water saving shower heads.
  • If the hot water cylinder is outside, insulate it to cut down on heat loss.
  • Renew seals and washers on dripping taps. A hot water tap dripping once a second for a day can waste enough hot water for an extra person.