Use efficient appliances

Efficient Appliances

Some of our electronic equipment in the home and at work is on for long periods of time, like fridges and freezers. Other items use a significant amount of energy when they are in use, like washing machines, dishwashers and tumble driers. It is important with these items to get the most energy efficient item possible as they will use less energy, cost less to run and save money in the long term. They may cost a little bit more to purchase, but because they are used regularly that extra cost is saved in a relatively short period of time.

The Energy Saving Trust has a register of energy efficient appliances which you can access on their website. Look out for the log on the right when you’re shopping.

You can also look at the energy label (example below, on the right). Where possible buy an appliance with the highest energy rating possible. For many items this will be A, but for some if it will be A+++.

Some interesting facts and figures:

  • We spend over £2 billion each year running washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers. Another £2 billion is spent on running cold appliances.
  • Washing at 30oC can use 40% less electricity than washing at 40 oC.

Do You Need the Appliance?

You can save the most money by not running an appliance at all. It is worth questioning whether you need to own an appliance. For example:

  • Instead of having a tumble drier, one of the most energy intensive household appliances, could you dry clothes outside on a washing line and inside on airers (in well ventilated rooms)?
  • If you only need a tumble drier occasionally in winter, could you use one at a laundrette?
  • Do you need a large fridge or freezer? Fridges and freezers only work efficiently if they’re full. If you can’t fill the one you have then you could save on running costs by having a smaller one so long as it has a good energy rating. For example, an A rated 180-litre fridge freezer could cost only £38 a year to run, whereas a larger 525-litre fridge freezer with a better A+ rating could cost £51 a year to run just because it’s larger.