Long lasting & energy efficient appliances that are must-haves for every home.
Using your kitchen appliances can rack up quite the electricity bill - accounting for an average of 20% energy usage in UK homes. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing appliances or are making a conscious effort with your carbon footprint, we’ve put together some important considerations when shopping for energy efficient appliances.
Leading manufacturers have been shifting their focus to energy efficiency and functionality in recent years. This common trend in the appliance market is focused on consumer lifestyle, with manufacturers doing their best to save you time and money.
From washing machines to fridge freezers, nearly all types of kitchen appliances will have an energy efficient model available. Whether it’s through an ‘eco’ function/button or built-in energy efficient technology - we look at how and why you should make the switch.
The Importance of Energy Efficiency & How to Decide Between Them
The focus & design of energy efficient appliances is to use the minimum amount of energy to complete the required task. The most energy efficient appliances on the market are capable of performing as well as other appliances whilst using far less energy. So, what does this mean?
First off - it means you can achieve the same day to day outcomes (clean clothes & chilled groceries) whilst consuming considerably less energy. This makes it cheaper to do the laundry or cook your dinner, as your monthly energy bill will be lower.
Not only will it help you save money, but it will also vastly reduce your carbon footprint. By minimising the energy consumed, fewer fossil fuels will have to be burned to generate the required amount of energy. Whilst this is only a very minute amount per use, the adoption and use of energy efficient appliances could see a huge reduction in energy consumption & fossil fuel use in the years to come.
Before we dive into energy and price comparisons, we look at how you can identify an ‘efficient’ appliance.
Nearly all white goods and kitchen appliances will have an energy efficiency rating label on them. These labels will grade each appliance on their energy consumption, usually between A & D. With fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers being quite the energy guzzlers, they must have a minimum energy rating of A+ as of July 2012.
You can expect most appliances new appliances to be at least an ‘A’ rated when it comes to energy efficiency. Your appliance can have a rating up to A+++, which is considerably more efficient than an A++ or an A+.
Energy Efficiency - The Test
With the lifespan of your fridge or fridge freezer ranging from 15-20 years (assuming they are serviced and well looked after), you can expect to pay around £625 to run an A+ rated fridge.
Most energy efficiency fridge-freezers (A+ and above) will cost between £30-£40 per year to run. An older, less energy efficient model could set you back up to £100 per year. A test by Which? found that two washing machines with the same energy rating had a 30% variance in energy consumption over 5 years.
Aside from energy ratings, there are several additional factors that influence energy consumption. Take the fridge freezer for example - the overall storage capacity and set temperature will determine how much energy it uses each day. This will change with each model as it will take more energy to keep a larger space at a lower temperature.
A lot of appliances will now have an ‘eco’ mode built into them. Whether it’s a dishwasher or washing machine, there are often cycle functions that operate on a lower energy setting. Take the Bosch WAB24161GB washing machine for example. Boasting an impressive A+++ energy rating and a total annual energy consumption of 153 kWh. With a standard unit rate of 15.47p per kWh on a British Gas home energy tariff, it would cost you approximately £23.67 per year in energy costs to run.
With 15 wash functions to choose from and a generous 6kg drum size, you’ll have full control over each wash. With a 2-year manufacturer warranty, the Bosch WAB24161GB is a steal at just £299.00 (£30 off *prices correct as of 24/04/2018).
Considerations When Buying
Putting shape and design aside, it’s often very difficult to tell how each appliance performs just by looking at it. So, what important things should you be looking for when purchasing a new energy efficient appliance?
Appliance size often has a part to play in energy consumption, especially when it comes to fridge freezers. Larger appliances (high-capacity fridges, washing machines) will generally consume more energy to run. Keeping a large storage area cold, or spinning a larger washing machine drum will inevitably take more energy, so be wary of sizes when purchasing a new appliance.
Purchase Price vs. Energy Consumption
If you’re in the market for a new appliance that will keep your energy bills low, it’s always good to work out all costs involved. For example: if you are undecided between 2 different washing machines, it’s worth comparing monthly and annual running costs as well as the price for the appliance.
If washing machine #1 is £150 more expensive to buy than washing machine #2, but costs £5 less per month to run, it will become cost-effective after month 30. These are considerations you will have to make if you’re really looking to save on energy bills.
Aside from the energy rating of an appliance, there will also be additional symbols at the bottom of the label that display annual energy consumption and appliance-specific performance features. These additional symbols provide are always good to refer to when comparing two appliances.
Functions & Cycles
Aside from their energy efficiency, there are additional features and functions that will help with performance & usage in your home. A lot of washing machines and dishwashers are now equipped with an ‘eco’ wash or ‘time saver’ function. These functions are fantastic energy & time savers and make all the difference to time and money spent each month.
Aside from the fantastic functions and energy saving technology embedded in your appliances, there are a few ways in which you can cut back your energy bill even further. Below, we look at some top energy saving tips you can employ around the home.
Avoid leaving your fridge or freezer door open for longer than required. The same goes for storing warm leftovers or food that hasn’t properly cooled. This will take longer for your fridge or freezer to reach its optimal temperature, which will end up using more electricity.
Always wash a full load. Whether it’s your washing machine or dishwasher, it’s more efficient to wash a full load than just a part load. If you are to wash a smaller load, try and use the ‘eco’ cycle. Eco programs and cycles consume around 20% less energy than a normal cycle.
Only use your tumble dryer when you absolutely need to. It’s best to use a clothes horse or washing line as this reduces how often you use your tumble dryer. If you need to use your tumble dryer, try and ‘babysit’ it. Some of your laundry will dry quicker, and by checking your tumble dryer mid-cycle, you could take out the dryer laundry. This will reduce the amount of time required to dry the rest of your laundry which reduces overall run time.
When it comes to saving on utilities and reducing your carbon footprint, the above guide is a great place to start when making the swap to energy efficient appliances. For more information on energy efficiency and what to look out for, get in touch with our team today on 0161 794 3030.