‘Cheapest times’ to use your oven to ‘save money and energy’

Colletta Smith demonstrates how you can save energy at home

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One aspect that many usually overlook when cooking is the power of ovens and the amount of electricity they consume. A normal oven usually uses between 900 and 3,500 watts of power (W), although this depends significantly on the functions we use to cook and the type of oven. For example, a domestic electric oven has an average power of 1500 watts (W) in normal use. Therefore, if you use your oven for one hour to bake a cake, you would be consuming 1500 watts per hour, i.e., 1.5 kW/h, according to energy experts at Endesa.

They claimed that ovens account for about 8.3 percent of the electricity consumed by electrical appliances in the home. So how can homeowners reduce their spending?

One way is to use ovens when the rate is “cheapest” according to the pros. They said: “The cheapest times to use your electric oven are off-peak hours, from 12pm to 8am. 

“Alternatively, the best time to cook in your oven could be during the flat-rate hours from 8am to 10am, from 2pm to 6pm in the afternoon and from 10pm to midnight.

“Bear in mind that on weekends and bank holidays, off-peak hours are the cheapest, lasting 24 hours a day.”

These times are the most appropriate for those who have a tariff that discriminates between time brackets on the free market or the regulated market. 

However, you can still save more by using your oven, depending on the electricity tariff you take out, you can adapt your habits to suit your needs or lifestyle.

Here are five other ways to save energy when using your oven:

1. Cook several dishes at once

One good way to save energy when using your oven is to cook several dishes at the same time. This avoids having to switch the oven on regularly.

Plus, with most home ovens they have enough space to cook several dishes simultaneously.

The experts said: “This way, you get two for the price of one in your kitchen saving money, energy and time.

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2. Cook food in smaller pieces

The same amount of food, baked in smaller portions, requires a shorter cooking time. This is “a very simple way” of “saving time and money” when using your oven, with the same exquisite results, according to the experts.

Furthermore, this makes it much easier to serve meals if you have already prepared the portion sizes.

3. Don’t open the door while cooking

While it is tempting to open oven doors to check whether the food is ready, this will actually add to your energy bill costs. 

Every time you open the door, heat is lost and more energy is needed to get it back up to the required temperature. 

The energy pros said: “However, by reducing the number of times you open the oven door when cooking, you can avoid a loss of heat, achieving a more efficient and sustainable use.”

4. Use residual heat

As many may probably be aware of, when an oven reaches high temperatures, the heat remains for a few minutes inside when you turn it off.

Take advantage of the residual heat and, when the recipe is almost over, like 10 minutes before finishing the cooking process, turn it off to use it. 

The experts advised: “Instead of using your microwave, use the residual heat in your oven to heat other dishes and save energy.”

5. Keep ovens well maintained

Cleaning and maintaining your oven are two other factors that “greatly enhance the energy savings” offered by this appliance, says the energy gurus. 

They added: “Over time, the door might not close properly or either the thermostat or fan might fail.

“Furthermore, significant amounts of accumulated dirt can result in the heating of the resistor or the gas burners not being distributed homogeneously within the oven.”

When taking care with cleaning and performing small checks on the most important points of your oven, you can extend its useful life and help consume less energy.

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