Kitchens: the ultimate energy vampires?
Whether your ideal kitchen tends towards the small and compact or the sleek and commercial, it’s likely to be the space which makes the greatest contribution to energy use. Kitchens are basically about heating up, cooling down, food processing and storage. Add lighting into the mix and it’s easy to see how they gobble up energy.
Kitchen appliances: why realistic choices are important
Controlling energy use in the kitchen is two-fold: it depends on reducing and also managing energy use. Many essential appliances such as cookers, dish washers and freezers are purchased with unrealistic expectations. A fridge that regularly contains nothing but a block of cheese and a pint of milk is clearly inefficient. A smaller fridge would have cost less and reduced energy costs in future. Taking the time to do extensive research into energy efficient appliances before purchasing pays dividends in the long term.
Building a new kitchen from scratch is a great opportunity to get energy use under control right from the start, with the correct choice of low-energy use appliances. Whether commercial or domestic, all kitchens can benefit from a professional assessment of energy use from specialists such as Dawnvale.
Low energy kitchens – are they achievable?
There are many ways to monitor energy use today, including smart meters, smart plugs, apps and complete home monitoring systems. Complete monitoring systems mean that energy use in the kitchen can be compared with use elsewhere in the building. Lighting is important too. Strategically placed low-energy LED spots are versatile and inexpensive.
It’s not simply about using less energy with smart meters or smart appliances, but also about smart thinking. It costs nothing to turn heat down once a dish is boiling, or cook several dishes in the oven at once so that best use is made of energy. Making larger batches of food and freezing them is also an energy-saving option, with the added benefit of saving preparation and cooking time in the future. Advance planning is liberating, rather than restricting.
Reducing food waste has a dramatic effect
It’s not always immediately apparent, but reducing food waste is all about reducing energy. When cultivation, transportation and other costs are all added up, it amounts to a lot of energy. Reducing food waste in the kitchen has a direct and measurable effect on overall energy use. What gets measured, gets done; and many individuals and organisations have benefitted from measuring the amount of food waste in their kitchens – and then taking measures to reduce it.
Simple tips for reducing energy in the kitchen
In the midst of 21st century smart technology for monitoring energy, golden oldie tips have their place too. Fixing dripping taps quickly, not overfilling kettles and maintaining the gas ring at the right level when heating food, for instance. In other words, keeping a personal eye on what’s happening in the kitchen still matters.