How to cut your power bills by buying new appliances

Household appliances contribute significantly to electricity bills, so it makes sense to buy energy-efficient models when the time comes to upgrade. And Queenslanders have an extra incentive to replace their old, energy-sucking appliances with the state government offering rebates of up to $300 towards power costs.

Under the plan, consumers who buy new washing machines, air conditioners or refrigerators with an energy-efficiency rating of four stars or more can apply to receive a rebate of up to $300. While the reimbursed cash will be paid into bank accounts, the plan is that it will help Queenslanders save on their power bills.

The Queensland government acknowledges that energy-efficient appliances typically cost more, but insists that households stand to save in the long-term through reduced energy bills. However, anyone interested will have to get in quick as funding for the plan is limited to $20 million.

Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said: “In Queensland, appliances such as air conditioners, fridges and washing machines can account for nearly half of a household’s energy use. Old, inefficient appliances could be adding more to your power bill than they need to.

“If your old clunkers are on their last legs, these rebates will help cut the cost of new, more efficient replacements. You’ll consume less energy, you’ll save money on your energy bills, and you’ll help reduce carbon emissions.”

How does the appliance rebate work?

From 1 January 2018, Queenslanders who buy a new washing machine, air conditioner or refrigerator with an energy-efficiency rating of four stars or more can apply to receive a rebate towards their power bills. Rebates are as follows:

  • $200 for a 4-star energy-rated washing machine
  • $250 for a 4-star energy-rated refrigerator
  • $300 for a 4-star energy-rated air conditioner

To apply, consumers will need to keep a tax receipt as proof of purchase and fill out an application form found on the government website. Completed forms can then be sent electronically or by post. Rebates are limited to one application per household and the maximum rebate is $300 regardless of how many new appliances are purchased.

  • For air conditioners, the energy rating relates to cooling. Free-standing, portable air conditioners and evaporative coolers do not qualify for the rebate, but split-system, window and ducted units are eligible.
  • Combination washer-dryer appliances are eligible, but drying-only models are not.
  • Combination fridge-freezer appliances are eligible, but freezer-only units are not.

If you purchase a PeakSmart air conditioner, you can also apply for additional financial benefits available through:

Check with Energex or Ergon Energy regarding the eligibility criteria for the PeakSmart programs and to apply.

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Who is eligible for the appliance rebate?

The energy-efficient appliance rebate is only available to Queensland residents and is not means tested. It is limited to one application per household.

Applicants must purchase a new appliance for domestic use at their primary residence. The rebate is available to both tenants and homeowner/occupiers. Landlords cannot make a claim for an appliance that is intended to be used in an investment property.

The Queensland government has committed $20 million towards the rebate and the scheme will end when the funding is exhausted. Payment of a rebate is not guaranteed. The government has also stated that it could cancel the scheme at any time by publishing a notice.

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