Moving to energy efficient appliances can be an excellent way to save money on your bills, as well as reducing your carbon footprint. When the time comes to buy a new appliance, look at the energy label. The higher the rating, the less energy it will use. The best rating you can now get is A+++.
Appliances are tested for how much energy they use during typical use. This gives them a rating on a scale of A to G, with A being the most efficient product of its class, and G being the least efficient. Some appliances use an older scale, from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most efficient.
In general, appliances are categorised by their size. This means that two different sized appliances with the same energy rating might use different amounts of electricity. For instance, a G-rated 265-litre fridge freezer could cost around £80 a year to run (70kgCO2e), whereas a larger 424-litre fridge freezer with a better F rating could cost around £90 (75kgCO2e) a year to run.
There might be plenty of life left in what you’ve got, and there are ways to get more out of those existing appliances – while also ensuring that any new ones you do decide to invest in are bringing the carbon and bill savings you’re looking for.
Off Peak Electricity
Consider using nighttime off peak electricity to run appliances. With an appropriate tariff the electricity you use will be cheaper than the daytime rate plus the C02 generated will be lower.
Reduce tumble dryer use. Drying clothes outside when possible and only using the tumble dryer when fully loaded will reduce your electricity bills. Some clothes will last better if you don’t tumble dry them. If your washing machine has a fast spin setting, then you can use this to get as much water out of the clothes as possible before you dry them. If you then need to use the dryer, you can run it for a shorter time and still save a bit of energy.
You can save energy when you wash your clothes, by waiting until the machine is full before running it, and by washing at a lower temperature when possible. Washing at 30˚C is often enough to get things clean.
Fridges & Freezers
There are a number of ways you can make sure you’re getting the best out of your fridge freezer:
- Avoid overloading it, and make sure food has cooled before it goes in.
- Ensure the seal around the door is intact by closing it on a piece of paper or bank note. If it slips out easily, adjustment might be necessary, or the seal may need replacing.
- You should check the coil behind is dust free so air can circulate properly.
Think about how you heat your food:
- Using a microwave is far more energy efficient than cooking on a traditional gas or electric hob when you’re heating up small amounts of food.
- Heat water in a kettle, rather than on the stove. You can transfer it into a pan once it’s already boiled.
- Only use as much water as you need – boiling extra takes more time and energy.
- Always cover your pots and pans – the water will boil faster and use less energy to heat your food.
- Don’t let liquids boil vigorously, if water is gently bubbling it has reached 100°C and cannot get any hotter.
- Turn off the heat a couple of minutes before your food is fully cooked as they take some time to cool down and will continue to cook your food.
- Don’t open the oven door repeatedly, if you can, take a look through the glass door instead.
Have a look at our Electricity Usage page to work out how much electricity you are using.