How much of your life revolves around the kitchen? The kitchen is the hub of the house, whether it’s your child pulling up a seat at the table to do homework, cooking a quick meal on a weeknight or having friends congregate during a dinner party. Given how much use you get out of your kitchen, it’s only natural that you look there to find savings.
Your electricity provider and the ENERGY STAR® Web site offers many ideas and tips on where to save money on electricity. Here are a few more suggestions ̶ some more involved than others ̶ that can help you trim back your electricity costs.
Start with making sure your registers and vents aren’t blocked by furniture or obstructing airflow into the kitchen. The harder your heating or air conditioning system has to work, the more electricity it uses. Plus, the additional effort increases wear and tear, making it likely you’ll have to replace it before its time.
Another way to save is to install ENERGY STAR® qualified light fixtures or to replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), kitchen fixtures are some of the most used light fixtures in a home, and ENERGY STAR® lighting can provide light that uses 75% less energy, generating 75% less heat and lasting up to 10 times longer than standard lighting.
The biggest change you can make is with your kitchen appliances, which is where an estimated 12% of your overall energy costs are spent. Replace your old refrigerator or dishwasher with an energy-efficient model that meets or exceeds ENERGY STAR® guidelines to find real savings on electricity usage. According to ENERGY STAR®, if your refrigerator was built prior to 1993, it uses twice as much energy as newer models. An ENERGY STAR® rated refrigerator uses less energy than a standard 60 watt light bulb left on continuously.
Newer dishwashers will also use less energy and water to get the job done, but make sure you only run it when you have a full load to maximize savings.