How to choose energy efficient appliances ...
Next time you replace your washing machine, dishwasher or fridge, make sure you consider its energy rating before you sign on the dotted line. You could be paying the price with higher energy bills by choosing the wrong model.
Energy efficient appliances use less power and water than inefficient models whilst performing to the same standards. You'll also find that energy efficient appliances don't usually cost any more but will pay you back with significant savings on your energy bills.
Efficient appliances are also more environmentally friendly, reducing your impact on global warming and conserving valuable resources such as water. Again this saves you money by reducing your water bills.
How much can you save with energy efficient appliances?
An energy efficient appliance will save you money every time you use it and the savings really add-up. For example, an energy efficient fridge-freezer can save you £35 a year and £350 over the lifetime of the appliance. An energy efficient washing machine uses two thirds less electricity and less water. The savings are enough to pay for six month's worth of washing powder. An energy efficient dishwasher can save you £15 a year on your electricity bills.
If you eventually replaced all of your household appliances with energy efficient models, the savings would represent a significant reduction in your annual energy bills. So how can you identify an energy efficient appliance?
How to spot energy efficient appliances
Energy efficient appliance's are easy to identify by the labels attached to them. You should look for the blue Energy Saving Recommended logo, the Energy Star symbol and the EU energy rating label.
One of the most helpful indicators is the EU energy rating label which displays an efficiency rating from A to G with A being the most efficient. An A-rated appliance will consume about half the power of a G-rated model. All appliances being sold by a retailer in the EU must display this label by law.
The Energy Saving Trust is a Government body and is responsible for the Energy Saving Recommended labelling scheme for products that are energy efficient. Recommended products can be found at the Energy Saving Trust website.
Tips for running your appliances more efficiently
The amount of electricity consumed by your appliances will depend upon how they are used and where they are located in your home. For example, a half-full fridge or freezer uses more energy than a full one and will use more energy if placed next to a heater or oven. The tips below can help get the most from your appliances and save you money...
- Modern washing powders work just as well at lower temperatures. So wash loads at 40C rather than 60C.
- Don't wash part loads, wait until you have a full load before using the washing machine or dishwasher, or select the half load or economy setting.
- Don't leave your fridge or freezer door open as this allows cold air to escape and costs money to reduce the temperature again.
- Don't put warm food into your fridge or freezer. Instead let it cool down first.
- Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly to keep it running at maximum efficiency.
- Don't leave appliances on standby. A television on standby uses 7% of the electricity required to power it when switched on.
Energy Saving Tip: Fit energy saving light bulbs - they will use around a quarter of the electricity and will last ten times longer than an ordinary lightbulb.