Switch on and save

Switch on and save

Lauren Robinson

Copy Producer, EHT

We’ve all been guilty of forgetting our bag for life at the supermarket or not turning off the lights when we’ve left the room, but what does it actually mean to be green? We are told to try to reduce our carbon footprint, to become more energy efficient but how does this translate into our daily routines and home life?

Appliance manufacturers are keenly aware of the drive to be greener; here are some of the best gadgets and machines around that can help you do your bit for the environment.

Being Green

One of the simplest solutions to reduce energy consumption and huge electricity bills is to change your light bulbs. The Philips Energy Saving LED Spotlights are quick wins. LEDs have no filaments so the bulb never needs replacing. The lifespan of an LED is 100,000 hours - or 11 years on continuous use.

When it comes to cold winter nights we are often quick to turn up the thermostat to avoid the chill, but wouldn’t it be handy to know how much energy we are actually using? The OWL Micro + Electricity Monitor does just that. It tells you the cost of electricity used, energy used and even has a greenhouse gas mode, as well as timed tariffs, so you know you are getting the best deal.

Philips 23W BC CFL Spiral Daylight Bulb lasts several times longer than an average bulb.

The OWL monitors your electricity, so you know how much you’re using.

The TreeGreen energyEGG is a clever device that can help you reduce your energy consumption and lets you wirelessly switch your appliances on or off.

The TreeGreen energyEGG Solo Pack is the ultimate all-in-one energy saving gadget. The little egg-shaped device uses motion technology to detect whether a room is empty or not. If no one’s there, it’ll turn off all selected appliances such as the TV, lamp or hi-fi. And you’ll never worry about leaving the iron on again: the energyEGG can automatically switch off your iron or hair straighteners after use. Genius!

And if you’re out and about the Belkin WeMo Switch Home Automation System lets you control your home electricity via your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Smart appliances

You’d be hard pressed nowadays to find an appliance rated less then an A for its energy output and performance. A Siemens dishwasher goes one-step further, however. It uses Zeolith, a class of silicate minerals which absorbs water molecules and then releases them as energy, helping to dry your dishes quickly in a more energy-efficient manner. Thanks to Zeolith drying, Siemens dishwashers take a shade over 2 hours to complete a regular cycle, which makes them the fastest in the market by some distance.

You may be surprised to learn that induction and steam cooking are environmentally friendly, lower energy consumption alternatives to conventional cooking technologies.An induction hob will only work when a magnetic field is created between the hob and steel or iron pan, resulting in minimal heat loss and lower energy consumption. Take a look at the John Lewis range of induction hobs.

The John Lewis JLBIIH603 induction hob has four cooking zones, each with a 7-segment power display for extra control.

The Food Saver automated vacuum sealer keeps food fresher for up to 5 times longer.

The Miele H2361B is perfect for anyone looking for a thoughtfully designed, high quality integrated fan oven.

When cooking in a steam oven, steam has a higher density than dry air and holds more energy. When the steam condenses back into water in the oven, it transfers that heat directly to the food. As a result, 100°C steam has 6 times the heat potential of 100° C air. Look at Miele’s ContourLine range of built-in ovens. SousVide cooking is very similar. This method is favoured by gourmet chefs for its precise, flavoursome results but it uses energy equivalent of a 60 watt light bulb. Incredible!

And if you need to preserve any left over food the Food Saver Automated Vacuum Sealer will automatically vacuum and seal your food, keeping it fresh for up to 5 times as long.

Waste not want not.

So next time you’re considering purchasing an appliance, look into its energy credentials. It could save you money in the long run and will be kinder to the environment.