Whether you’re moving home and want to cut down your energy bills, saving for a deposit and need to tighten your purse strings, or you want to become a more sustainable energy user; it’s important to know your energy usage and which appliances are sucking up your power.
One of the main ways we waste money is through unnecessary energy consumption, and this is often caused by using the wrong everyday appliances – or the right appliances in the wrong way.
I’ve seen some shocking examples of bill devastation.
A standout was one woman with an electricity bill for $3200 for three months. Why? She had left the air-conditioner on constantly because the person who installed it told her this was the best way to use it.
He was wrong.
Energy usage is billed by kilowatt hours (kWh) – 1000 watts operating for one hour. This is important to know so we can gage an awareness of how much our mod cons’ average consumption is costing us, and can avoid any jaw-dropping moments when the quarterly bill arrives.
To find out how much a kilowatt costs you check your most recent energy bill.
If you have a portable fan heater, unplug it and put it in the bin. They use between 1000 W – 2400 W per hour and cost between $0.30 – $0.70 per hour to use.
Do not be fooled by size – a very small portable heater may be responsible for adding hundreds of dollars to your winter electricity bill. Always check the energy value written on the compliance plate before use and be mindful of budgeting to meet the potential running cost.
Portable fan heaters are terrible consumers of energy and there are far better ways to stay warm such as an electric throw rug, which uses a maximum of 150 Watts. (0.15 kW).
2. Clothes dryer
Clothes dryers use 4.6kW per load on average – that’s 4600 watts – costing about $1.40 per load.
Guess what? I am a big fan of fans. But there is a huge variance in fan products.
One of the surest ways to save power and money is by relying more on fans than refrigerated and evaporative cooling systems, which use about 1500W per hour on average.
Relying on smaller fans instead of evaporative cooling systems can be great way to save money.
Summer in Australia is sweaty work. But here’s some food for thought.
But let’s not forget, at 70% capacity that’s adding almost 3.5kWh and $1.00 to your next bill for every single hour of usage.
Check and photograph compliance plates on your appliances.
Compliance details must be stamped on all electrical appliances in Australia.
Depending on the type of appliance, it may have an input wattage figure or two values (one for amps and one for volts).
If the figure is is amps and volts simply multiply amps by volts to get a wattage value to help you calculate its power appetite.
Does your appliance have a sticker?
This can help you work out how it compares to others, bearing in mind the star rating system began 15 years ago and the minimum energy performance standards for various appliances have standard has changed over time to encourage manufacturers to increase the efficiency of new models.
Look for information on how your air conditioner or clothes dryer performed during its standard industry test.
Clothes dryer labels will show an estimated number of kWh hours per year, this number is based on the appliance drying one load of washing, weekly (52 times) over one year.
Air conditioner labels reveal the unit’s output and input capacity in kWh (how large an area it will cool/heat and how much energy it will use to do the job). Also included is information on whether the unit has a variable output compressor (also known as an inverter type compressor), which is an indication that the unit is capable of operating between 20% – 30% more energy efficiently than units with the ‘NO’ box ticked.
Here are my top shopping tips and handy hints for buying new appliances:
Calculations based on average peak domestic energy price of $0.30 per kWh (average SA, NSW, VIC, QLD, ACT network area standard tariffs as at September 2014).
Article courtesy of realestate.com.au