- Energy efficient living
- Appliances and equipment
- Your home and rental
- Hot water
- Heating and cooling
- Solar, wind and hydro power
- At work—what can I do?
- At work—what can we do?
- Babies and budgets
- Energy-saving guide for Northern Australia
- Home-based businesses
- Home entertainment and technology
- Outdoor living
- Reduce your energy bills
- Seniors' guide to energy saving
- Sustainable house day
- Take action
- Your stories
Appliances can account for up to 30 per cent of your home energy use. As our reliance on appliances increases and energy prices are also on the rise, choosing energy-efficient appliances becomes more important. The national standards for energy efficiency are improving the environmental performance of appliances all the time, so upgrading to a more efficient appliance can save you energy and money.
It's not only about having the right product—how you use appliances in your home can make a big difference. For example washing your clothes with cold water can save up to 5 times more energy than a warm wash.
When you replace an existing product, think about buying an energy-efficient appliance that's right for your needs.
Considering energy use in addition to purchase price and product features will save you money and energy as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the product. A lot of new appliances and some electronic equipment have Energy Rating Labels to help you with this.
Depending on your circumstances and where you live, there may be rebates to help you buy more energy-efficient appliances like fridges and washing machines.
You can save money and reduce energy use by buying the right appliance for your needs and using it efficiently. The position of the appliance, how you operate it and maintain it all affect how much energy is used—for example, placing your refrigerator next to your oven will make it work harder to keep your food cold. Leaving appliances on standby unnecessarily will also waste energy and money. Following the manufacturer's care instructions to keep your appliance in good working order will ensure your product runs better and lasts longer, helping you avoid expensive repair and replacement costs and saving energy over time.
Home entertainment items and computers often have a standby mode so they can turn on quickly. However, standby mode can use a lot of energy even when the appliance isn't being used. Standby power is a key source of hidden energy costs that could amount to 10 per cent of your electricity bill. Australians spend more money to power home audio products when in standby than when actually in use.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if equipment is on or off. If you switch appliances off at the wall when you aren't using them, it guarantees that you will save energy. To make things easier you can install an 'intelligent' powerboard that will cut power to all the devices plugged into it with one click—either by using a remote or a switch separate from the actual board.
Think about how you will dispose of your appliance when it comes time to update it or it's at the end of its life. Good working appliances can be re-used, so contact your local charitable organisation for more information. Contact your local council for the best way to dispose of used appliances. Some companies offer a pick-up and recycling service to remove unwanted appliances.
Planet Ark's RecyclingNearYou and TechCollect both list the locations to drop off unwanted products, including companies that dismantle and recycle televisions, computers and computer products free of charge. This helps stop toxic waste going to landfill and increases the recovery of valuable materials.
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Did you know?
Fridges and freezers need a 5–8 cm gap around them to ensure good air circulation and to avoid adding up to 15 per cent in operating costs.
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