How it was Built

100 tips for saving energy - Cooking


  1. A typical home uses 200-700 kiloWatt-hours per year with its range/oven. To become more energy efficient with your range/oven, follow these tips:
  2. Begin cooking on highest heat until liquid begins to boil. Then lower the heat control settings and allow food to simmer until fully cooked.
  3. Carefully measure water used for cooking to avoid having to heat more than is needed.
  4. Cook as much of the meal in the oven at one time as possible. Variations of 25°F still produce good results and save energy.
  5. Develop the habit of "lids-on" cooking to permit lower temperature settings.
  6. Include more stews, stir-fries, and other single-dish meals in your menus.
  7. Keep reflector pans beneath stovetop heating elements bright and clean.
  8. Only use pots and pans with flat bottoms on the stove.
  9. Rearrange oven shelves before turning your oven on - and don't peek at food in the oven! Every time you open the oven door, 25°-50°F is lost.
  10. There is no need to preheat the oven for broiling or roasting.
  11. Use the self-cleaning cycle only for major cleaning jobs. Start the cycle right after cooking while the oven is still hot, or wait until late in the evening when electricity usage is low.
  12. Use your microwave oven whenever possible, as it draws less than half the power of its conventional oven counterpart and cooks for a much shorter amount of time.
  13. When preheating an oven for baking, time the preheat period carefully. Five to eight minutes should be sufficient.

Buying Tips for a Range/Oven

  1. Combination ovens use microwave technology and halogen lamps to cut cooking time and energy use by 66-75 percent.
  2. Convection ovens use a small fan to circulate hot air around the oven. This speeds up cooking time by about 30 percent and saves the same in energy.

Efficient Cooking

  1. If only using a small pan, then use a smaller burner. Boiling water in the kettle first will save the time the burner needs to heat the water, and putting a lid on will help it come to a boil quicker.
  2. There are a few easy ways to save energy when cooking which can also speed up the amount of time you spend over a hot stove. Always use the correct size pan, and when heating water only use the amount you need so the electricity is not burning unnecessarily to heat the excess.
  3. When making a cup of tea, only boil the amount of water that you need. Boiling a full kettle unnecessarily is a waste of electricity.

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Real Goods Solar, Inc.