Reduce your energy bills
Choose and use energy-efficient appliances
The price tag doesn't tell the whole story when weighing up the cost of your new television, refrigerator or washing machine. If you take into account that all the appliances you have at home take up around 30 per cent of your total energy bills, looking at running costs like a "second price tag" and choosing products accordingly will save you a considerable amount of energy and money over time.
- Many appliances that have a less expensive purchase price may end up costing you far more in energy costs over the lifetime of the product. Choose appliances and technologies that suit your needs and that use the lowest number of watts or megajoules. Avoid the lure of upgrading to bigger products or those with more features you may never use and which can lock you in to costs for years to come.
- Compare the Energy Rating Label found on appliances including including televisions, computer monitors, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, freezers and clothes dryers and go for the product with the highest number of stars. To make this easy there’s an Energy Rating App for all types of phones, or go to the Energy Rating website and compare the efficiency of appliances. There is also a Voluntary Labeling Program for pool pumps—the more stars, the less energy the product will use.
- Gas appliances are not regulated for energy efficiency in Australia. Labels that appear on some appliances (space heaters, ducted heating and water heaters) are part of an industry-led voluntary Gas Energy Rating Label not monitored by government.
- For those products without energy ratings, you can find out how much energy they use and compare this with a product of a similar size or capacity and which manufacturers include energy saving features in their products. You could also check to see if the product has the blue ENERGY STAR® mark.
- For appliances and technology you already have at home, you may want to identify which ones are the biggest energy users by using a simple calculation to estimate the running costs and then consider how you save money by using them more efficiently.
- Install your appliance so it runs efficiently and at optimum levels. For example, fridges should not be placed next to ovens or warm spots as they'll need to work harder to stay cool. Proper use and maintenance is also important, for example, allowing heated food to cool before placing it in the fridge and repairing seals on your fridge door so cold air doesn't leak out. Read the instructions for individual appliances before you install them to ensure you position and use them correctly from the start—saving you time and energy.
- Use thermostat controls to minimise energy use and still achieve home comfort. Spend some time reading the manual so you know how to turn on these features if they're not the default setting.
- Operate the appliance for the shortest amount of time possible and turn it off at the wall when you're not using it. This includes turning off computers, screens and other office and home entertainment products such as printers and speakers (with the exception of appliances like refrigerators and some medical equipment which needs to stay on all the time).