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Energy Efficency

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285energy_ratingStanding in the home appliances shop, you cast your eye over the sleek lines of refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and dishwashers. You're about to make a big investment and you don't want to spend more than you have to.


Your eye takes in the prices and the energy and water efficiency labels, and you start to weigh up your options, with your budget firmly in mind. And this is when you have to remember that every appliance has two price tags. The first is the purchase cost of the appliance, and the second is the ongoing running cost of the appliance. It stands to reason that an energy and water efficient appliance that saves you hundreds of dollars each year on bills won't take long to pay for its premium in price.

The Federal Government has developed a website that can help you to compare the energy efficiency and star ratings of a range of appliances. It even calculates the energy cost of each appliance over many years to help you consider longer term savings compared to upfront costs. 


Energy Rating -

The simple and reliable way to make a smart choice on your next appliance is to look at the energy label. The label can be found on all refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dish washers, clothes dryers, air conditioners and televisions, and gives a star rating between one and six stars. The greater the number of stars, the higher the efficiency. Total energy consumption in kilowatt-hours per year is also shown. If two suitable appliances have the same star rating, choose the one with the lower energy consumption.


Energy Star Logo -

Home entertainment and office equipment, such as computers, DVD and CD players are not currently covered by the energy rating scheme. However, if they have the Energy Star® logo, you know that they have greater 'standby' efficiency. Standby power is the electricity used when appliances aren't fully switched off, such as when the TV is turned off with the remote control. Appliances can use much more energy over a year in standby than in actual operation and can account for up to 12 per cent of a household's electricity use.


An Energy Star® appliance will automatically switch into 'sleep' mode if not being used, and/or will reduce the amount of power used when in 'standby' mode. Although the standard only applies to energy used during standby and not operation, Energy Star® appliances are often more efficient in operation too. As the Energy Star® function is not always enabled on new appliances, ask your retailer to enable it or follow the directions in the manual.


Gas Energy Rating -

Gas energy labels can also be found on gas space heaters, gas ducted heaters and gas water heaters (both storage and instantaneous). Gas energy labels are similar in format to those found on electrical appliances, except they are blue in colour and with annual energy shown in MJ (3.6MJ=1kWh). Once again the more stars the better!


Australian Gas Association -   


Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) rating -

The Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) shows the consumption of water by appliances. The label gives products and appliances a star rating from one to six and also provides a number that shows the comparative water consumption in litres. The labels will be on the product or packaging to allow you to compare when you are purchasing. The WELS website contains a searchable database of a range of products including washing machines, dishwashers, flow controllers, showers, taps and toilets.


resourceSmart - 


Listed suppliers are a guide and are not endorsed by Green Cross Australia or the Alternative Technology Association.

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