Even if you don’t (yet) have the best of the best appliances, there are many things you can do to cut down on kitchen energy use.
Don’t keep the pot at a rolling boil. A rolling boil is no hotter than a simmer. Turn down the heat.
When you make hard-boiled eggs, forget the boil entirely. Well, almost. They don’t need a full boil to cook. Bring the pot to a boil, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let the eggs sit for 12 minutes. This works well for pasta, too.
Use a solar oven. On sunny days, a well-insulated solar oven can reach temperatures above 200°F. While solar ovens aren’t a good choice for a soufflé, they excel at baking bread or squash, and cooking rice, stews, and soups. Put it on in the morning, and dinner’s ready when you get home—and the kitchen’s still cool. You can build your own (a great project for kids) or buy a commercially made unit (see www.solarovens.org).
Fill the empty space in your refrigerator with jugs of ice. Winter temperatures can freeze or cool jugs of water that you then put in your fridge. With airspace taken up by cold water, your fridge will run less.