‘The essentials’ in household appliances can no longer be counted on one hand; as technology becomes an ever more integral part of our lives, more and more devices are becoming part of the must-haves. As the amount of appliances rise, however, as does your electricity bill. As such, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your usage. Many of the appliances that we now consider essential can be reduced in their usage just by choosing models that are eco-friendly. White goods in particular, such as fridges, ovens and washing machines, can be drastically reduced. In this article you will see how much electricity a variety of household appliances use and what you can do to reduce that amount.
Efficiency rating systems
Just like food nutrition labels, people are now much more interested in the details behind the products that they buy. As such, comprehensive energy rating systems have been devised in accordance with the European Union in order to help consumers across Europe understand their appliance purchases, therefore becoming more environmentally friendly and saving money in the process.
The most popular efficiency rating system worldwide, ‘Energy Star‘, is used frequently in the United Kingdom and has integrated part of its model into the EU’s own rating system . It has been made so that all white goods, such as fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and freezers, must have an energy efficiency rating on their packaging and/or on sales outlet pages.
There’s much more to energy rating systems than purely how much electricity an appliance uses in operation. It goes much deeper, such as the performance that you will get out of a washing machine when used on a lower heat and spin cycle. Due to either minimum requirements or purely just through low sales numbers, companies now rarely sell appliances that are rating below C and D; however, the occasional product does crop up now and again. No matter how cheap it is, you should always avoid buying them, as in the long run, you’ll end up much worse off for doing so.
Choosing a highly rated appliance will literally save you hundreds of pounds per year; it is that easy. You may also think that buying an energy-efficient appliance would cost you much more money. This is certainly not the case. White goods of all energy efficiency ratings can appear in all price brackets. You just have to be smart about how you buy; look for the energy efficiency rating before the price, but don’t be put off by the superior quality of the product when thinking about price.
What difference does a rating make?
So, you may be thinking ‘how much will I actually save by buying an appliance that’s a couple of ratings higher than my current one?’. This differs, of course, depending on what appliance it is, how frequently you use it, what rating you are switching to and from, and a bunch of other variables. Here are, however, a few examples that can help you get an idea of the difference between highly and low rated appliances:
|Appliance||Lower rated yearly cost||Higher rated yearly cost|
|Washing machine (220 uses)||A rated – £28||A+++ rated – £14|
|Tumble dryer (220 uses)||C rated – £125||A+++ rated – £40|
|Fridge Freezer||A+ rated – £46||A+++ rated – £19|
As you can see above, these examples show that there is quite a sizeable gain to be made through switching. Just by using these three higher rated appliances in your home, you would save an estimated total of around £126 per year.
The examples above are of course rather heavy-usage devices, which leave much more of a margin for savings; however, what about the smaller devices that don’t use as much energy? Should you go out of your way to choose a energy-efficient kettle, for example? Although it should not be as urgent of a priority to switch your smaller appliances, if you are going to be changing anyway, you should always go for the highly rated appliance as every little change will add up, not only in your bank account, but for the environment as well.
It is true that switching your toaster, your kettle and various other items in this ilk, will not save you hundreds of pounds a year like your larger items; however, they are still important. You have much more of these smaller appliances, meaning if you add them all together, you will most likely use more electricity than your high-usage items.