Buying energy-efficient appliances for your kitchen
Doing what you can to be more energy efficient is an accepted part of modern living. But while many of us acknowledge that using energy more effectively is a win-win deal – better for the environment, better for the household budget – it can sometimes be difficult to take the long view, especially if it involves paying more in the short term to recoup savings over the weeks, month and years.
And nowhere is this more evident than in the kitchen. Generally acknowledged as the centre of the household, the kitchen is also the room where much of the daily grind of keeping the family running goes on. Cooking, washing clothes, making cups of tea, keeping food fresh; it all adds up to more powerful electrical appliances per square inch than anywhere else in the house.
So, if you can make some sensible choices in this room, then you are going to be making a dent in your electricity bills – and in your carbon footprint to boot. However, buying brand new electrical appliances is always going to be expensive and you may need to save up to get the best. You can set up a monthly savings account here which could help you to build up a pot of money to fit your kitchen with the most energy efficient appliances, helping you make more savings in the future.
Short-term saving sense?
It’s worth remembering that with some electrical products – particularly those which you typically find in kitchens – cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean ‘most economical’.
If you can afford to spend a little more initially, buying a more efficient product will save you money each time you use it – potentially adding up to significant savings over the course of a year. For an added incentive, you could even open an ISA or high interest savings account.
The good news is that there are simple systems for comparing kitchen appliances, meaning you can make an informed decision. From A++ to G, the ratings allow you to see at a glance how efficient a product is. The ratings are designed to allow you to compare two similar products with each other – so remember that an enormous fridge, rated A, is still going to use far more electricity than an A-rated fridge half its size.
Fridge freezers, in fact, are among the biggest energy consumers, as they run 24 hours a day. The difference between A++ and G-rated products is £45+ each year, while for washing machines the same differential runs to some £25+. It’s worth bearing in mind that an efficient washing machine can also save you money on water too, if you are metered.
In addition, the Energy Saving Trust’s ‘Recommended’ certification system aims to reward the most efficient products, meaning you can quickly see if the appliance you are considering is a top performer.
And while you’re in the kitchen, there’s a host of other ways to cut down on your electricity costs on the smaller appliances. Kettles are one of the most commonly used items in the home, with the typical household boiling them four to five times a day. Get an Energy Saving Trust-recommended one, and it’ll use 20% less energy than the average. Finally, think about how you cook your food – while cookers are getting more efficient, microwaving your food, where appropriate, is a far less wasteful way of heating food.