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Estimate running costs of appliances and technology
Running costs can add up over the life of a product so it's worth taking a moment to calculate the running costs of your appliances. If you're choosing a new appliance this will help you determine the real cost of the product over its lifetime. For products you already have at home, you can find out which ones are costing you the most to run and aim to use them as efficiently as possible.
Appliances can account for up to 30 per cent of home energy use. As our reliance on appliances and technology increases, choosing energy-efficient appliances becomes more important.
- Find out the real cost of an appliance over its lifetime
- Identify the biggest energy users in your home
- Make better informed purchasing decisions
- Save energy and money by choosing energy-efficient products and using them more efficiently
At a glance
- Savings 2
- Ease 3
- Impact 2
To estimate how much an electric appliance with a star rating will cost to run each year, you multiply the number of kilowatt hours (kWh) per year (the number on the Energy Rating Label) by your electricity rate. Electricity rates vary depending on where you live. The rate you pay will be on your electricity bill. If you don't have a bill handy, you can contact your energy supplier or visit their website to check.
The following examples use a rate of 28.55 cents ($0.2855) per kWh as a rough estimate of electricity costs per unit. Electricity is usually measured in watts. A kilowatt equals 1,000 watts.
- a TV (110-130cm screen size) with a 7-star label of 155 kWh per year × $0.2855 can cost around $44 a year to run
- a TV (110-130cm screen size) with a 3-star label of 471 kWh per year × $0.2855 can cost around $134 a year to run
To estimate the lifetime running cost of an appliance or television, multiply the annual cost by 10 to 12 years (the average lifespan of most major appliances before they need to be replaced).
In this scenario, choosing the more energy-efficient television could save you $900 over a 10-year period. This may exceed any saving made on the original purchase price.
The crucial steps to reducing electricity consumption are identifying how much energy you're currently using and looking at your usage habits. Once you work out which appliances are having the greatest impact on your bills, it becomes easier to use appliances efficiently and also to buy energy-efficient appliances to reduce energy consumption.
You can estimate the running cost of new or existing appliances and technology by following a simple calculation.
Using a portable electric heater as an example:
Find out how much you pay per unit of electricity.
This information will be on your electricity bill. If you don't have a bill handy, you can contact your energy supplier or visit their website to check.
Find out how much input power the product uses in kilowatts (kW).
The 'input' power is usually marked on the packaging or in the manufacturer's information in 'watts'.
2,000 watts of electricity: 2,000 watts÷1,000 = 2kW
Estimate hourly running cost.
Multiply the input power in kW by the price of your electricity per kilowatt hour.
2kW×$0.2855c per kWh = $0.571 per hour
Estimate daily running cost.
Multiply the cost per hour by the number of hours you use the appliance.
$0.571×5 hours = $2.85 per day
Estimate yearly running cost.
Multiply the daily cost by the typical number of days you use the appliance.
$2.85 per day×100 days = $285 per year
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