Electrical appliances

There are many different electrical appliances we use at home to make our lives more comfortable.

Around 38% of all energy used in our homes can be attributed to electrical appliances in our kitchen, laundry, home office and lounge room. Choosing energy efficient appliances and reducing standby energy use will save you money in the long run.

Some electrical appliances, such as hot water systems, can be connected to an economy tariff to save money.

An economy tariff provides electricity outside of peak times and costs less than the regulated general residential usage tariffs. Peak time is usually around 4-8pm, but timing is at the discretion of the electricity distributor.

Cooking

  • Use small appliances where possible. Use the microwave over a conventional oven, the toaster over the grill, or the kettle over the hotplate.
  • Put fitted lids on pots as much as possible. This helps the pot's contents get up to temperature quicker.
  • Match the size of pots to the size of the element or flame area.
  • Boil only the amount of water you need.
  • Use steamers and pot dividers to cook all your vegetables at once.
  • Let frozen foods thaw before cooking.
  • Avoid opening the oven door unnecessarily when cooking.
  • Check the seal on the oven door. Make sure it's clean and in good condition.
  • Keep preheating times in electric ovens to a minimum. Preheating is not necessary in a gas oven.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation in cooking areas to remove hot, humid air.
  • Cook outside on the BBQ on hot days to avoid heating the house.

Dishwashers

  • Buy a dishwasher with a high Energy Rating label.
  • If your dishwasher has a hot water connection, use a greenhouse efficient hot water system and connect your hot water system to an economy tariff.
  • Use the shortest and coldest setting that will adequately clean your dishes.
  • Clean the filter between each wash to improve energy efficiency.

Refrigerators

  • Buy a refrigerator with a high Energy Rating label.
  • Switch off the second fridge when you're not using it.
  • Keep your refrigerator cool on the outside by allowing air to circulate around it. Keep it in a cool place out of the sun, and away from the western wall of the house or other heat sources, such as the oven or cooktop.
  • A well stocked fridge is more energy efficient, but don't overstock shelves or put hot food in your refrigerator. Leave about 20% of your fridge space free for the air to circulate.
  • Regularly clean and check the door seal.
  • Defrost your freezer if ice is more than 5mm thick.

Small appliances

  • Ensure your appliances are not using standby power. Where possible, switch them off at the wall when they're not in use.
  • Use power boards with switches to make it easier to turn individual appliances off.
  • Use a remote controlled or automatic standby eliminator to turn off your appliances. Standby removing power boards are also available from most electrical appliance stores. These are designed to turn off power to other appliances when you turn off your main appliance (e.g. TV). Search for 'standby power board' on the internet to find further information.

TVs and entertainment

  • Buy a TV with a high Energy Rating label.
  • Ensure your appliances are not using standby power. The appliance will be warm to the touch if it's using energy. Switch appliances off at the wall when they're not in use.
  • Use power boards with switches to make it easier to turn individual appliances off.
  • Use a remote controlled standby eliminator to turn off your TV and entertainment system.

Washing machine and dryers

  • Buy a washing machine or dryer with a high Energy Rating label.
  • If your washing machine has a hot water connection, use a greenhouse efficient hot water system and connect your hot water system to an economy tariff. Your dryer shouldn't be connected to economy tariffs.
  • Wash a full load instead of many smaller loads.
  • Use the economy cycle and load sensing whenever possible.
  • Buy a washing machine with a time delay function so you can choose the time you want the wash finished and ready to hang out. This is an easy way of washing outside the peak demand times.
  • Use a cold wash cycle rather than a warm or hot cycle to save energy from heating water.
  • Use your clothesline instead of a dryer to dry clothes.
  • Clean the lint filter after you use the dryer to maintain energy efficiency and keep your dryer safe.