A kitchen filled with kitchen appliances such as microwave and refrigerator

Appliance energy saving tips

There are many different electrical appliances we use at home to make our lives more comfortable. It's important to be sensible about the way you use power to help save on your electricity bills. Understanding how to choose the right appliances for your home and use them efficiently means they’ll work better, last longer and save you money.

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

  1. Buy a dishwasher with a high Energy Rating label.
  2. Use economy settings unless you have a large or heavily soiled load.
  3. 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.
  4. Use the shortest and coldest setting that will adequately clean your dishes.
  5. Clean the filter between each wash to improve energy efficiency.

  1. Set your fridge to between 3° C and 4°C and set your freezer to between minus 15°C and minus 18°C.
  2. Position your fridge and freezer away from direct sunlight to keep them as cool as possible.
  3. Leave a gap around your fridge and freezer to let air circulate around the condenser and remove the hot air produced.
  4. Keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep the cold air in. Plus, keeping them full will use less electricity to re-cool after you close the door.
  5. Look for compartmental temperature control if available, allowing you to set different temperatures in certain sections of the fridge.
  6. Defrost your freezer regularly if it requires manual defrosting, to keep it running as efficiently as possible.
  7. A well-stocked fridge is energy efficient, but don't overstock shelves or put hot food in your refrigerator. Leave about 20% space for the air to circulate.
  8. Switch off your second fridge or freezer when it's not needed and leave the door ajar. Turning off your second fridge can save you between $100 and $200 a year1.
  9. Check the door seals are clean and tight. Loose seals mean you're losing cold air through gaps, so you'll need to replace them.
  10. Upgrade your fridge or freezer. Really old ones can be extremely inefficient, costing you hundreds of dollars to run each year. Remember when shopping for a new appliance to look for the stars and purchase an energy efficient model with a high energy star rating. For instance, a 3.5-star fridge instead of a 1.5-star fridge could save you a cool $150 a year2.
  11. Look for a high Energy Rating label if buying a refrigerator.

  1. Appliances that have LED lights or are warm to touch, will be using energy.
  2. Turn off your home entertainment equipment at the wall when not in use.
  3. Use power boards with switches to make it easier to turn individual appliances off.

  1. Buy a TV with a high Energy Rating label.
  2. 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.
  3. Use power boards with switches to make it easier to turn individual appliances off.
  4. If your wall powerpoint switches are hard to access, use a remote-controlled standby eliminator to turn off your TV and entertainment system.

  1. Wash clothes in cold water using an economy cycle, to save on water heating costs, reduce water use and washing times. Modern fabrics and detergents deliver excellent results in cold water.
  2. Wash a full load instead of many smaller loads.
  3. Adjust the water level to economically wash a partial load or use the load sensing function if your machine has one.  Or wait until you have enough for a full load.
  4. Use the sun to dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. Just two loads in the dryer each week could end up costing you around $50 a year3.
  5. Spin clothes well before putting them in the dryer. Don't mix heavyweight and lightweight articles in the same load as they take longer to dry.
  6. Clean your dryer's lint filter after each load and keep the room well-ventilated so that the dryer runs more efficiently.
  7. Consider a front loader. If you're thinking of buying a new washing machine, choose a more energy-efficient front loader, instead of a top loader. You may pay a little more up front, but you'll save around 50%4 on electricity.
  8. Upgrade your washer or dryer to a new energy efficient model with a high energy star rating. Some dryers have sensors which detect when the washing is dry and then shut the dryer off, saving energy and avoiding over-drying. If purchasing a washer, also consider the water star rating.

About star ratings

The Energy Rating Labelling Scheme is a national program to support the development and supply of energy efficient appliances by providing clear and objective information.

This information is intended to help customers understand the energy requirements and running costs of different appliances and help them to choose an appliance which best meets their needs.

When buying a new fridge or freezer, check the energy rating label. These labels provide a comparative assessment of the appliance's energy efficiency and typical annual energy usage (in kilowatt hours per year).

For more information on energy labelling visit the Energy Rating website. Here you’ll also find a handy Energy Rating Calculator where you can compare the consumption and running costs of various appliances by brand, star rating or energy consumption.

Important information

  1. Based on a 3.5 star family-sized fridge.
  2. Based on a comparison of energy usage for a 1.5 star and a 3.5 star family-sized fridge.
  3. Based on running two 45 minute loads in a 2.4kW dryer with 5kg capacity.
  4. Based on comparing a large automatic 600W top loader with a large automatic 300W front loader.