Are energy efficient white goods cost affective in the long-term? | Compare The Market

Breaking even: Are energy efficient white goods cost affective in the long-term?

 
 
 
 
 

When shopping for home appliances it’s often difficult to weigh up efficiency and cost – here’s a few examples of common appliances and how they stack up in potential operating savings and initial outlay

Home appliances are relatively expensive compared with other home essentials, so making the right choice for your lifestyle and wallet can take time. Additionally, efficiency ratings and cost are often at opposite ends of the scale, so if spending more, how long could it take to break even from the energy saved?

Comparing refrigerators

One of the single biggest users of electricity in the average household is the refrigerator as they are always switched on. The process of heat exchange is one of the most energy intensive applications for electrical appliances, so it’s no surprise the fridge takes a top spot for energy consumption. Most homes have a fridge and top mounted freezer combo, so that’s what the example comparison below is based on.

Fridge freezer A – Standard

0
Star Rating
0
Volume (litres)
$
0
Price
$
0
Annual running cost
$
0
Lifetime running cost (10 years)

Fridge freezer B – Energy efficient

0
Star Rating
0
Volume (litres)
$
0
Price
$
0
Annual running cost
$
0
Lifetime running cost (10 years)

*Based on electricity costing 27c/kWh, with no maintenance costs.

The difference in purchase price between the two fridges is a bit over $300, and the difference in annual running cost adds up to about $38. If both fridges have a ten year lifespan, the fridge with the higher energy rating works out to be about $50 cheaper to buy and run. The other thing to note is that the higher energy rating fridge is larger, so the amount of food that can be stored is larger, which is an advantage if you need the space. For more general information on choosing a fridge, build.com.au have a good guide here.

Related: Appliance energy star ratings explained

dishwasher_resized

Comparing dishwashers

These days, dishwashers are often more water efficient than hand washing, assuming they are full with every use. However, electricity use can vary hugely between makes and models.

Dishwasher A – Standard

0
Star Rating
0
Capacity (place settings)
$
0
Price
$
0
Annual running cost
$
0
Lifetime running cost (10 years)

Dishwasher B – Energy efficient

0
Star Rating
0
Capacity (place settings)
$
0
Price
$
0
Annual running cost
$
0
Lifetime running cost (10 years)

*365 cycles per year, no maintenance, 27c.kwh

In this example, brand A would cost $1798.40 over 10 years, whereas brand B would be $2355.20. In this case the more expensive, energy efficient model would still cost more over its lifetime. Other factors when choosing a dishwasher could include, water use, settings, cycles, or whether the unit heats its own water. For other things to consider when buying a dishwasher, this article from Lasoo.com.au covers the basics.

Heating & cooling

Air conditioners effectively use more electricity the higher their kilowatt rating is, and there’s not a great deal of difference as far as efficiency goes. The main thing here is to use an air conditioner that is suitable for the size of the room to be cooled.

Heaters on the other hand are wildly variable depending on the system they use to heat the air. Fan heaters generally use the most electricity for the amount of heat they generate, while oil and panel heaters are the most efficient. Electric heaters effectively use more electricity the higher the wattage rating for the appliance. As with air conditioning it’s important to choose a heater suited for the room it’s intended to heat.

dryers_resized

Comparing clothes dryers

There are differences between the energy consumption of various types of clothes dryer, such as condensers, and washer/dryer combinations; this page gives more information on dryer types. As traditional electric heated dryers are popular, that is what we have compared below.

Clothes dryer A – Standard

0
Star Rating
0
Capacity (KG)
$
0
Price
$
0
Annual running cost
$
0
Lifetime running cost (10 years)

Clothes dryer B – Energy efficient

0
Star Rating
0
Capacity (KG)
$
0
Price
$
0
Annual running cost
$
0
Lifetime running cost (10 years)

*52 cycles per year, no maintenance, 27c.kwh

In the case of vented clothes dryers, the direct comparison leaves no doubt as to which model is more efficient. The 2.5 star model uses less than half the electricity over the course of a year with the same use, and in this case is almost $90 cheaper to begin with!

Understand the rating system to calculate cost

By understanding the energy star rating system and calculating running costs based on the manufacturer’s published energy use, it’s easier to choose a more efficient appliance. To be even more accurate, why not try calculating costs based on your specific usage to get a thorough understanding of how you are spending energy; www.smarterchoicecalculator.com.au could be a good place to start.

*All comparison information gathered from www.smarterchoicecalculator.com.au.

Author comparethemarket.com.au

Launched in September of 2012, Comparethemarket.com.au – operated by Compare the Market Pty Ltd (CTM) – has teamed up with a range of Australia’s insurance providers so you can compare some of the latest deals, in one place, side-by-side. The team behind comparethemarket.com.au have experience in insurance, comparison, customer service and digital. If this was a stuffy corporate monologue, we’d tell you that we’re a bunch of subject matter experts specialising in User Experience, Customer Insights & Online Strategies. But to be honest, it’s just as accurate (and a whole lot easier) to say that we’re a bunch of people who want to make your experience with online comparison better. We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re forward-thinking, that we share an entrepreneurial spirit, and the fact that we like to have a bit of a laugh too. We’re all a bit too addicted to chocolate, but no one’s perfect, really.

More posts by comparethemarket.com.au

On this website you can compare quotes and purchase products from participating brands for health insurance, car insurance, travel insurance, life and income protection insurance, home and contents insurance, energy plans, roadside assistance products, home loans and credit cards.

We do not compare all products in the market and at times not all brands may be available. Visit each product page, as well as our Website Terms of Use, Financial Services Guide (Car, Home and Travel Insurance Products), Financial Services Guide (Life Insurance Products) and Credit Guide for detail about who we compare, how we make money and how our comparison service works for each product.

The Compare The Market website and trading name are owned by Compare The Market Pty Ltd ACN 117 323 378.