Use smallest possible appliances for cooking

A woman putting a dish into a microwaveiStockA microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as an hour in a conventional oven. Use the microwave instead of the oven to reheat leftovers too. Other alternatives to using the range include a crock pot, toaster oven and slow cooker. By the same token, when using the stove, use the smallest pan and stove burner suitable for the task.


Use your oven’s convection setting

A pie inside an oven in the hands of a womaniStockConvection ovens continuously circulate the air, reducing the temperature required as well as the cooking time. The convection setting will use about 20% less energy than regular baking.


Defrost food in the fridge

A fridge shelf showing salmon in a tray and other itemsiStockThaw frozen items overnight in the fridge rather than using the microwave. It takes less energy and can also help your fridge stay cool. After meals, let leftovers cool down on the countertop before putting them in the fridge in a covered container.


Unplug small appliances when not in use

A plug being inserted into an outlet on a bright green walliStockStandby power can account for 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use. Unplug countertop appliances such as coffee makers, toasters and electric kettles as soon as you’ve finished using them.


Run the dishwasher only when full

A hand removing a cup from a fully loaded dishwasheriStockSince your dishwasher uses the same amount of energy and water regardless of what’s in it, make sure it’s full. By doing this, you cut the number of wash cycles over the course of a week. Even one fewer wash a week can add up to $20 a year in savings.


Turn off heat-dry setting

A woman operating the controls of a dishwasheriStockYour dishwasher’s heat-dry setting uses a lot of power that isn’t usually necessary, especially in the warm months. De-select the heated dry cycle and leave dishes to drip dry.