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Selecting an Energy Efficient Appliance

When you're buying a new appliance, it makes good sense to choose the model that uses the least energy while meeting your needs. It helps the environment and it can save you money too.

Energy costs - the second price tag

Once you have bought an appliance, the only real ongoing costs are the energy (and sometimes water and detergent). Over the lifetime of a typical appliance, these energy costs are often equal to or greater than the initial purchase cost. For some products, the least efficient appliance can cost twice as much to operate as the most efficient model.

When choosing a new appliance, look for the Energy Rating and ENERGY STAR Labels.

Energy Rating labels

The Energy Rating label enables you to compare the energy efficiency of domestic appliances on a fair and equitable basis. It also provides incentive for manufacturers to improve the energy performance of appliances.

The Energy Rating Label was first introduced in 1986. It is now mandatory in most states and territories for refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and air-conditioners (less than 7.5 kilowatts output cooling capacity) to carry the label. Some gas heaters and water heaters also carry labels.

The Energy Rating Label has two main features:

  • The star rating gives a quick comparative assessment of the model's energy efficiency.

  • The comparative energy consumption (kilowatt hours/year) provides an estimate of the appliance's annual energy consumption (based on the tested energy consumption and information about the typical use of the appliance in the home).

The Star Rating of an appliance is determined from the energy consumption measured under Australian Standards which define test procedures for measuring energy consumption and minimum energy performance criteria. Appliances must meet these criteria before they can be granted an Energy Rating Label.

Remember – more stars = more energy efficient.

To search for the most efficient appliances go to www.energyrating.gov.au.

An easy way to make sure you choose the most energy efficient appliance is to look for the Top Energy Saver Award (TESAW). TESAW ia an award system that governments have created to recocnise the most efficient star rated products on the market. It applies to both electric and gas products that carry a star rating energy label. It is an award system that helps consumers quickly identify the most efficient products on the market. The award is updated every year and the scheme replaces the previous Galaxy Award System.


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