In 1980, kitchen appliances accounted for nearly 44 percent of an average annual home's energy consumption. With innovations in cooking, cleaning and preservation appliances, that figure is just above 10 percent today -- and still dropping -- much to the delight of consumers seeking green options throughout the home.
In a recent Whirlpool Corporation survey fielded by Harris Interactive, 84 percent of consumers said that energy -- not water or time -- is most important to them when it comes to home appliance efficiency. Despite the significant gains in efficiency over the last 30 years, nearly 70 percent of consumers cited a kitchen appliance as the one that consumes the most energy on a day-to-day basis.
"In the past, consumers did not need to look beyond the kitchen to find the home energy hog," said J.B. Hoyt, Director, Regulatory Affairs and State Government Relations, Whirlpool Corporation. "Even today, cooking appliances are not ENERGY STAR qualified. However, recent innovations in appliance efficiency, particularly when it comes to the refrigerator and dishwasher, can really help consumers conserve resources."
For example, the Resource Saver Refrigerator from Whirlpool brand uses less energy than it takes to power a 60-watt light bulb, exceeding federal efficiency standards by 30 percent. Moreover, the Resource Saver Dishwasher uses one-third less water and energy than dishwashers manufactured before 2000.
"Efficient appliances like these should help consumers save on their energy bills," said Hoyt. "They are an important first step toward achieving an 'eco-kitchen.' However, homeowners also need to make sure to do their part to help."
Small lifestyle changes can help appliances run at peak efficiency and conserve energy. For example, running the dishwasher late at night can help consumers avoid peak hours, and keeping the refrigerator stocked and at the recommended temperature can save energy as well.
Similarly, consumers can reduce energy when preparing a meal. Placing multiple foods in the oven can efficiently utilize heat, and selecting an appropriately sized pan for each burner can increase the efficiency of the range.
Cooking appliances also feature innovations to help conserve energy. The Whirlpool range with Energy Save mode conserves electricity when the oven is not in use, while the over-the-range Velos microwave can cook up to 47 percent faster than a traditional thermal bake oven when in SpeedCook mode.
To learn more about energy-efficient kitchen appliances, consumers can visit www.whirlpool.com.