Lowering energy bills is a huge task for any family, no matter your income. So looking at which appliances consume the most power is a good starting point when revaluating your outgoings. Household appliances and equipment account for around a third of total energy consumption in the home.
A typical family home is likely to have quite an array of electrical appliances: a couple of TVs, fridge freezer, cooker, washing machine, clothes dryer, dishwasher, microwave, kettle, desktop computer, phones, tablets and games console. You can probably think of even more!
So let’s take a look at the major appliances in most homes and find out what percentage of energy consumption they account for.
For many families, the trusty dishwasher is one of the more essential appliances in the home, and it’s generally perceived to be one of the biggest energy-suckers. However, it actually accounts for an average of just 2% of appliance energy consumption. So you can leave your dishwasher to do the hard work in the evening with a clear conscious.
A fridge freezer is a monster energy sucker, and it’s hardly a surprise seeing as you never turn it off! A massive 18% of energy consumed by household appliances is used up by the humble fridge freezer. This is why you should always give serious thought to the size of fridge you need before buying, because the bigger they come, the more they will cost you in electricity bills.
We live in an age when size really does matter, and unfortunately this translates to our energy bills too. If you want the luxury of a large screen plasma TV then you’ll end up paying for it. Your TV is likely to be the biggest consumer of energy of all the appliances in your house, taking up 19 per cent on average, so select one carefully. And something you might not realise is how quickly the cost of leaving your TV on standby can add up – around $26 every year. So it really pays to turn your TV completely off when you’re not using it.
A washing machine can be expensive to run depending on what you buy. Top loader washing machines are well-known to be a higher cost to run than a front loader, sometimes costing twice as much, as they usually use more water and run for longer. A washing machine uses a total of 2% of all the energy used by your appliances.
A clothes dryer is less of a necessity for many families than your washing machine, but they are a godsend to bigger households. You might think they’ll cost you a lot in energy use, but on average a clothes dryer will only account for about 2% of appliance energy consumption.
We live in a world where being connected to the internet is an essential part of life, and the number of digital devices in our home reflects that. According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average household includes six devices used to access the internet. However, the good news is that they are relatively cheap to run, costing between five and 15 cents an hour.
Heating and cooling your home
The cost of heating and cooling your home is usually the most expensive part of your energy bill, often accounting for up 40% of the total cost. This is even more than your total appliances combined, so being mindful of your heating and cooling usage should be top of the list for anyone looking to reduce their bills.
The cost of your hot water varies a lot depending on whether it’s an electric or gas system, and can account for around 20% of your total household energy use.
What’s the verdict?
As electrical appliances become more affordable, our demand for electrical items increase and energy rates rise there is an inevitably going to be higher bills coming through the mail.
Choosing an appliance which is energy efficient will pay you back in the long run as you will save on the bills. Be savvy – check the energy rating on the next appliance you buy and be careful to choose the size of your appliance for your needs, especially for the big energy burners like the fridge freezer and TV, as this can help avoid a massive bill.