The cost of inefficient appliances

You could be losing hundreds of dollars each year because of inefficient household appliances. Christian Hoerning from EECA ENERGYWISE says the true cost of an appliance isn’t on its price tag.

How much more money would you be willing to spend on an appliance that isn’t energy efficient? Take fridge freezers – a model that doesn’t have an ENERGY STAR label could cost you $900 more in running costs over its lifetime.

Household appliances, such as washing machines and fridge freezers, are big ticket items and running these appliances makes up about 40% of the average household electricity bill. When replacing old appliances, buying an energy efficient model can make a big difference. Most people keep whiteware, such as fridge freezers and washing machines, for up to 15 years so it’s worth choosing energy efficient models.

How do consumers know an appliance is energy efficient? The blue ENERGY STAR is a quick and easy way to identify energy efficient products. ENERGY STAR only appears on the most energy efficient appliances –for most product groups that’s the top 25% of models.

This consumer-friendly guide to energy efficiency is an internationally recognised, voluntary label that manufacturers are increasingly using. New Zealanders bought more than 400,000 ENERGY STAR approved products in the year to March 2014 – that’s 18 percent more than the previous year.

Shoppers can also use the Energy Rating Label that is found on appliances to compare the energy efficiency of similar appliances in the store. The Energy Rating Label also has stars – the more stars, the more energy efficient the appliance is. The fewer the stars, the more you’ll spend on running costs.

The ENERGYWISE website has a running cost calculator where you can compare the running costs of many common household appliances.

At home, it’s worth thinking about the way your household uses appliances. Appliances left turned on at the wall are sucking up low levels of electricity – these appliances are on standby. Turning these appliances off at the wall when you are not using them could save a household about $100 a year.

Major culprits are home entertainment appliances, like stereos, game consoles and computer equipment. Plug them all into multi-plug boards so they can all be turned off properly at the same time. Turning off washing machines and dryers at the wall will also save power.

Running cost calculator - ENERGYWISE website

Media enquiries:

Penny St John, Senior Communication Adviser, EECA

Phone: 027 687 3123

Email: penny.stjohn@eeca.govt.nz