Energy efficient cooking appliances

Cooking accounts for about 4% of the total energy bill in a typical Victorian household.

Cooking and energy efficiency

Unlike many other household appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, cooking appliances don’t have energy star ratings to indicate how energy efficient they are.

In general, the larger the cooking appliance and the longer the cooking time, the more expensive your cooking costs will be.

Choosing cooking appliances that suit your needs and using them efficiently will help to keep your cooking-related energy costs down.

Small appliances tend to be more efficient and should be used wherever possible for cooking or heating smaller amounts of food. For example:

  • Use a toaster rather than the oven griller to make toast
  • Cook in a microwave oven rather than a conventional oven
  • Boil water in a kettle rather than on the stovetop .

Choosing an oven

If possible, choose a fan-forced oven because they circulate hot air evenly, which keeps the temperature constant and cooks food quicker than conventional ovens.

Ovens with triple glazed doors and a high standard of insulation will retain heat better.

As well as double ovens there are now dual purpose ovens that can function as a steam oven or a conventional oven.  It’s important to think carefully about your needs and choose an oven that meets your requirements.

Tips for using your oven efficiently

Follow these simple tips to use your oven more efficiently:

  • Keep the oven door closed – opening the oven door allows heat to escape, requiring more energy to make up that lost heat
  • Check the oven door seal and hinges, and replace them if they are damaged, cracked or too loose
  • Cook several dishes in the oven at once to make sure all the space and heat is being used
  • Turn the oven off a few minutes before removing food and let the residual heat complete the cooking process
  • Use the fan forced option as you can cook at a lower temperature
  • Where possible, use an electric fry pan, pressure cooker or microwave oven instead of your electric oven – these smaller appliances use a lot less energy than an electric oven and often cook food quicker
  • Consider using a slow cooker – they use just a little more energy than a traditional light bulb.

Choosing a stovetop

The two most common types of stovetops are gas and electricity, with gas being the cheaper and more efficient option. However, induction stovetops are also becoming popular as they are faster and more efficient than gas cooking.

Induction stovetops

Induction stovetops use electromagnetic technology to heat the cookware and its contents without wasting energy heating the cooking surface. With induction stovetops, energy is delivered directly to the pot or pan, making it twice as efficient as gas and electric stovetops, where the energy must first be converted into heat.

Tips for using your stovetop efficiently

Follow these simple tips to use your stovetop more efficiently.

  • Use saucepans with clean flat bottoms to ensure better contact and heat transfer.
  • Choose the right-sized hotplate for the pot. Pots and pans should always cover the entire hotplate to minimise energy loss and the flame should not run up the sides
  • Simmer food or water rather than boiling it vigorously, as this uses less energy.

Choosing a microwave

Microwaves are much more energy efficient than ovens and stovetops, because they are able to cook food in less time.

If you’re replacing your microwave, think about the types of cooking you do and purchase a microwave that meets rather than exceeds your needs.

It’s also a good idea to opt for a microwave that doesn’t have a clock, as running a clock actually uses more energy than running the microwave itself.

Tips for using your microwave efficiently

Follow these simple tips to use your microwave more efficiently.

  • Switch your microwave clock off at the wall when not in use, in order to save energy.
  • Thaw frozen food in the fridge rather than defrosting it in the microwave.
  • Use your microwave for cooking, re-heating and defrosting, as this uses less energy than your standard oven.
  • Clean your microwave regularly to help it operate efficiently.