With many Aussies still working from home on a full-time or part-time basis, looming bill shock may be anticipated. For those mindful of the spike in energy usage, everyday household appliances may be the power-draining items to look out for. With around 30 per cent of total household energy consumption coming from appliances, it can pay to check the energy star rating.
You might think you are saving money by not purchasing new appliances. However, an old fridge in the garage or dated washing machine may be using more energy than you think – and eating a hole through your wallet along the way.
If you are wondering how much you can save on your energy bill by having a more efficient appliance, we have calculated the amount saved on a five-star model compared with a three-star model using the Energy Rating Calculator.
For example, a three-star rated, two-door 400L fridge and freezer costs $106.44 annually to run, while a similar model with a five-star energy rating costs $63.11. This could see you save $43.33 annually and more than $400 over ten years.
Annual running cost
Annual savings by using five-star model
*All savings are indicative, based on an average Queensland electricity rate of 26.2 c/kWh and using the default sizes and number of uses as set by the Energy Rating Calculator for each appliance.
= $178.27 in total
To avoid throwing unnecessary dollars toward your energy bill, be sure to check the star rating on your common household items. It’s a good idea to understand how the energy usage works on appliances. If you find you need an upgrade, it pays to know how the energy rating system works and what’s behind each of the stars on the label so you can make informed purchases. Most appliances are rated out of six stars, with the most advanced models being rated out of 10. Each star indicates how much energy the appliance uses, which can then be compared with other models of the same size or similar capacity.
To help Aussies reduce their power bill, below are four tips for reducing energy consumption on common household appliances.
- Set your fridge between three and four degrees Celsius to conserve energy. By keeping your fridge at this optimal temperature, it will not have to work as hard to stay cool. Anything below this mark will use an extra five per cent of energy. The same scale applies to freezers, which should be set between -15 and -18 degrees Celsius.
- Wash with cold water and use the clothesline. Depending on what model of washing machine you have, a hot water cycle uses approximately 50-80 per cent more energy than cold water. Instead of using the dryer, use the clothesline where possible for zero energy cost – particularly in the warmer months where clothes can dry naturally in just a few hours.
- Use the dishwasher sparingly. Reduce the number of times that you run your dishwasher each week by only doing a load when it is full. To further conserve energy, open the door to let utensils dry instead of using the drying cycle. Hot water is also a major energy-sucker, so make sure you set the temperature to as low as possible and use cold water if you are pre-rinsing your dishes.
- Downsize your TV screen. With the average Aussie home having two or more televisions, choosing a smaller model that is more energy-efficient can help reduce household bills. The type of screen also contributes to energy consumption, with LED and LCDs using less electricity than plasma screens.
It is recommended that Aussies compare energy providers to double-check whether they are on the best plan from their energy provider or if they can cut costs even further by switching. To find a plan that suits your needs the most, free online comparison websites like this compare usage rates and plans from the country’s top providers.
About the Author
Abigail Koch is a household savings expert at Compare the Market. Abigail provides her expertise on various ways Aussies can reduce their bills and household expenses. Having a young family herself, Abigail is passionate about empowering consumers to seek out the best providers and insurance policies to suit their lifestyle and needs. For more information about how to compare and switch energy plans, banking products and insurance policies, visit comparethemarket.com.au.