Use smallest possible appliances for cooking
iStockA 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
iStockConvection 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
iStockThaw 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
iStockStandby 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
iStockSince 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
iStockYour 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.