OP/ED: 10 tips on how to buy and use energy efficient appliances

July 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

By Peter Harris from Appliances Online

Rising energy costs and greater awareness of appliances’ impact on the environment means a lot of consumers are interested in buying and using energy efficient appliances. Here are seven tips that we share in our business with consumers to help them find the right product for their needs.

Compare the energy star rating

The star rating gives a quick comparative assessment of the model’s energy efficiency, and should provide an estimate of the annual energy consumption of the appliance. The more stars the better. Government research has shown that a five-star WELS water rating can help you save around 21,000 litres of water per year — that can be a huge saving on water bills.

Read buying guides and product manuals

Reading buying guides and product manuals will ensure you’re aware of the different types of appliances available, as well as the various functions on specific models. Many products have eco-friendly alternatives; for example, some dishwashers have a half-load option for the convenience of people living by themselves.

Be realistic

Buy the appliance that is best sized to your typical needs, and not the biggest one available. Bigger appliances could drive up the price of water and electricity bills.

Recycle old appliances

Electrical waste contains hazardous materials that end up in landfills. Choose a retailer that can take away your old appliances when they deliver your new ones.

Turn your appliances off at the power point

Household power use increases from appliances that are thought to be off but are actually on stand-by mode. To avoid energy wastage, ensure appliances that don’t need constant power — for example, microwaves — are switched off at the power point.

Tone down the TV

If you have a newer television set it to the ‘home’ or ‘standard’ setting, to help use less energy. Reducing the brightness on your screen can also cut its energy use.

Set your heating a few degrees cooler

By setting your heater or heating system just a few degrees cooler you can cut the amount of energy used, saving you money on power bills.

Fill up your freezer

Freezers that are full use less energy because there is less air that needs to be cooled down when the door is opened. If you have lots of space in your freezer you can reduce its running costs by freezing water in ice cream containers or spare Tupperware.

Use a cold wash cycle

Front load washing machines generally use less energy than top loaders. Opt for a cold wash cycle to further reduce energy consumption.

Dry Smart

Obviously try to use a clothesline when possible, however, when you do use the dryer never place clothes in dripping wet and always try to start a cycle with a full load.

Peter Harris is the general manager of Appliance Online, a division of The Winning Group. Appliances Online is currently sponsoring Australia’s first Solar Decathlon team. You can learn more about that by watching this video:


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