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How Energy Efficiency Appliances Reduce Electricity Consumption and Energy Bills

Why should you buy energy efficient appliances?

In the long-term, energy efficient appliances will cost you less money and have a much smaller environmental impact than models with poor energy efficiency ratings. Research which brands and models are top of their class when it comes to saving money on bills and using electricity sustainably.


According to the Australian government website yourhome.gov.au, your home appliances and equipment use an average of 25% of your total household energy (more detail here). That’s a quarter of your electricity bill you can influence with smart appliance purchases. By investing in good equipment and appliances you can directly impact your monthly electricity usage – as well as other environmental factors where relevant like water and gas consumption.

How to use energy star ratings to purchase appliances

The Energy Star Rating Label must be displayed on the following items,

  • Fridges

  • Dishwashers

  • Televisions

  • Computer monitors

  • Freezers

  • Clothes washers

  • Clothes dryers and

  • Swimming pool pumps

Many appliances or electrics will have an appliance rating scheme to help or you can compare running costs for different models of appliances by visiting the website energyrating.gov.au. The more stars there are on an electrical item or appliance, the higher efficiency. If you happen to find two appliances that have the same Star Rating, choose the one that has lower energy consumption.

Which appliances should you pay most attention to?

The advice from yourhome.gov.au is: Appliances that use the largest amounts of energy include fridges and freezers (responsible for an average 8% of household energy use), clothes dryers (up to 10% of household energy use for heavy users), and TVs and home entertainment equipment (an average 5% of household energy use). In homes with a pool, the pool pump is a high user of energy (up to 18%).


Let’s have a quick look at energy usage considerations highlighted on Yourhome.gov.au for each


Buying a fridge or freezer

  • Many older fridges use much more energy than when they were new, due to factors such as loss of refrigerant, deterioration of insulation and door seals and accumulated dust around the compressor and coils. A new replacement may provide energy savings of up to 50% if you select the most efficient replacement.

  • Always choose the right size for your needs and purchase the most energy-efficient model you can. Look at upfront and ongoing running costs. A higher rated fridge may cost more initially but can save you several hundred dollars over the appliance’s life because it uses less electricity to perform the same task.

  • Upright fridge–freezers with one above the other are more efficient than full-height doors

  • Set the fridge thermostat to between 3°C and 4°C, and freezer between –15°C and –18°C. Every degree lower requires 5% more energy.

  • Wine coolers and micro-fridges use more energy than traditional fridges. They don't generally carry energy labels and so cant be compared with other fridges.


Buying a washing machine

  • Choose a machine that's the proper size for you - because washing is best when there's a full load.

  • Front-loaders are usually more water and energy-efficient.

  • Models with spin speeds of 1800 revolutions per minute (rpm) or more extract twice the maximum amount moisture than models with only low spin speeds (less than 800rpm).

  • Search for an ‘economy’ cycle which regularly washes adequately for lightly soiled clothes while saving both energy and water.

  • Confirm the machine you purchase includes cold wash program options. A hot wash can cost 80% to 90% more

  • Some washing machines also can dry your clothes. Their washing efficiency is comparable to other front-loading washing machines. However, they need poor drying efficiency and take for much longer to dry clothes


Buying a clothes dryer

  • To avoid wasting money and reduce energy use and emissions, dry clothes on a clothesline or rack.

  • Clothes dryers are energy-hungry appliances, so seek for the foremost efficient dryer you'll be able to afford.

  • A 6-star dryer uses some half the electricity of a 2-star dryer.

  • Seek for an 'auto-sensing’ feature, which automatically stops the dryer when clothes are dry.

  • Condenser dryers, which condense vapour from the dryer exhaust, are energy and water wasteful (around 2-star)

  • Heat pump dryers are more efficient as they recover energy in exhaust air and reuse it to dry the garments.

Buying a dishwasher

  • A contemporary dishwasher with a water star rating of 5 can wash a full 12-place setting with but 10L of water, and typically uses significantly less energy and water than handwashing dishes.

  • Choose the correct size for your must avoid washing partial loads and choose the foremost energy and water efficient model you'll be able to. Two-drawer and benchtop models are available and might be more efficient in households where frequent small loads are washed

  • Search for models with an eco-cycle. Some models also offer a ‘half wash’ mode that washes just the lower basket to avoid wasting water and energy.

  • Research performance well before buying a brand new dishwasher. Check which wash program the energy rating applies to: the wash program used for the test must meet a cleaning and rinsing performance benchmark so it'll be suitable for normal washing


Buying a TV

  • Choose a model that's the correct size for your room, instead of buying the biggest screen you'll afford. If the TV is simply too big and you can not sit the proper distance aloof from it, you may see the pixels (dots) that form the image

  • Purchase the foremost energy-efficient (highest star rating) TV you'll be able to. an oversized screen TV may have the identical star rating as a smaller TV, but it uses more energy and generates more greenhouse emission emissions

  • Higher resolutions (that is, 4K UHD, full HD, and 8k), larger screen sizes, internet connectivity, and screensavers that keep TV on for extended are resulting in increases in energy consumption. LED and OLED energy consumption depends on screen brightness, so turning down brightness (the backlight setting for LEDs) can make the TV consume less energy

  • Leaving TVs on standby uses electricity. Turn it off at the switch when not in use.


Buying home entertainment equipment

  • Devices like games consoles, streaming devices, set-top boxes, audio equipment, and DVD players don't seem to be required to hold an energy rating label. However, many of the identical principles apply to minimising energy use when it involves purchasing and using this sort of apparatus

  • Attempt to limit the amount of individual home entertainment devices you own and use. one device combining functions can help reduce purchase and ongoing costs.

  • Aim to get equipment that has an Energy Star logo.

  • Purchase and install a stand-by electricity controller for your home entertainment equipment which automatically turns off all connected devices when the TV is turned off. Alternatively, use a powerstrip to power off all the devices with one switch.

  • Leaving home entertainment on standby uses electricity. Turn it off at the switch when not in use.

Buying home office equipment

  • If you are buying a computer monitor, look for the energy rating label to compare performance.

  • Try to limit the number of home office devices you own and use.

  • A computer does not need to be running constantly and in optimum performance mode to operate effectively.

  • Purchase and install a stand-by power controller for home office equipment which turns off devices when the desktop computer is shut down. If you do not use a stand-by power controller, try to purchase products with an on/off switch. If you are not using a device for an extended period of time, save money and energy by turning it off at the electricity outlet. Power bars can also turn off multiple devices with a single switch.

  • Leaving home office equipment on standby uses electricity. Turn it off at the switch.


Buying pool pumps

  • Pool pump operation will be a serious a part of the electricity bill for those households with a natatorium – on the average up to 18% (DEE 2018). Variable speed pumps are the foremost energy-efficient of all pumps but are the foremost expensive to shop for.

  • The most significant energy use in pools comes from heating. If you select to heat your pool, a decent option is solar heating together with a pool blanket that traps heat.

When should you replace your appliances?

New appliances are much more efficient than older designs and upgrading your appliances and technology will reduce your energy consumption.


Some people are concerned that the energy savings from replacing an old appliance could also be cancelled out by the energy required to manufacture the new one. If the old appliance is recycled, much of the energy utilized in its manufacture may be recovered. For fridges and air conditioners, high climate impact refrigerants will be recovered, rather than leaking into the atmosphere because the appliance ages.

Can’t decide whether to repair an existing appliance or replace it? If it's going to cost you over 50% of the value to get a repair, then it should be worth considering purchasing a replacement one.

Sources and where to learn more:

https://www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/appliances

https://www.energyrating.gov.au/calculator

https://youtu.be/G5KPNYcHCNg


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