How to save
energy when entertaining.
The only thing better than indulging in good food and great company, is doing so while staying environmentally conscious. Here, we present some ways to create an unforgettable soirée that dazzles your guests while keeping your energy consumption in check.
From clever lighting choices to energy-efficient cooking tips, get ready to shine as a savvy host and leave a smaller carbon footprint, one delicious mouthful at a time!
Alfresco is best-o
Why limit your dinner party to the confines of four walls when you can take the celebration to the great outdoors? Embrace nature's charm, and your wallet will thank you too. Put that trusty BBQ to work. Cooking outdoors adds a delightful smoky flavour to your dishes while keeping your kitchen appliances turned off and instead using one main source to cook, saving you energy and money. If there’s a chill in the air, keep your guests cosy and comfortable by providing blankets and cushions for seating.
Prep like a party pro
Plan your dinner party menu to minimise cooking time and oven usage. Cold platters, canapes, antipasto and salads are great dishes that won’t need heating, are simple to prepare and have less wash-up. For food that does require heating, choose recipes that can be prepared in advance. One-pot wonders like pasta bakes or casseroles will reduce the energy needed for multiple burners or hobs. Better still, you could ask each person to bring a plate and share the energy usage.
Cover the pot-ential
While cooking, put the pot lid on to lock in delicious flavours and save on heat loss. It's like giving your pots and pans a cosy blanket, ensuring they work more efficiently. Choose the right-sized pots and pans to cook your meals too. Oversized pots and pans can lead to wasted energy with all that empty space. Opt for the Goldilocks approach-not too big, not too small, just right!
If your menu includes dishes that require similar cooking times and temperatures, batch cook them together to maximise oven usage and save energy. If you have them, use energy-efficient cooking appliances like pressure cookers or your induction cooktop to save even further.
Lights out, party on
When you want to create a magical mood, who wants overpowering overhead lights? Turning off the lights can create a cosy and intimate atmosphere. Strategically placed candles on the dining table and around the room will create a warm (and romantic if that’s what you’re aiming for) ambience. Choose unscented candles to avoid clashing with the delicious aroma of the food.
Why not decorate your dining area with battery-powered or solar-powered fairy lights? Hanging them along walls, through shrubs or draping them over furniture for a soft and enchanting glow. Alternatively, lower your dimmer switch as the evening progresses for a soothing ambience. If you’re outdoors, use lanterns and hurricane lamps with low-wattage bulbs, solar powered lights or candles for a rustic and charming look.
Only dishwash with a ‘full house’
As soon as you spot those dirty plates starting to stack up, it may be tempting to get the dishwasher cycles going. Think about it-running your dishwasher half-empty is like throwing a party for just a few guests.
Unleash the power of your dishwasher at the end of the night, only when it's got a full house of dirty dishes. And washing in off-peak energy periods is better as it will also lighten the load on your wallet!
- Hosting a dinner party outdoors can save energy by reducing the need for indoor lighting, heating, cooling and cooking.
- Prepare your dinner party menu by incorporating no or low-cook dishes to save energy.
- Cook smartly to conserve energy using the right size pots with lids on or energy-efficient cooking appliances like slow cookers or induction hobs.
- Use candles and fairy lights instead of large overhead lights to create a magical ambience.
- Only do dishwashing at the very end of the night when the dishwasher is full and when off-peak energy hours have started.
ActewAGL's energy saving tips are designed to help you take control of your energy use, while reducing your bills and environmental impact. Save with great value energy plans backed by our sustainability promise, supported by 100% local, award-winning service - so you can LIVE A Good Life now and into the future.
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Disclaimer: These Energy Savings tips and articles are for information purposes only. Please ensure you are aware of any safety precautions before operating appliances or products.