Shoppers looking for a sale fridge, washing machine or TV during this week’s Black Friday shopping spree might want to check the energy efficiency of their appliances to save even more.
Most households are paying more for their energy and will continue to do so for some time if the latest forecasts are correct. It makes sense to keep track of your energy usage if you want to keep bills as low as possible.
Many household items now come with labels explaining how energy efficient they are, but a third of consumers say they don’t understand them, according to research by comparison site Uswitch.
It doesn’t help that a new rating system was introduced last year, making it difficult to compare older appliances with newer ones.
You can lower your energy bill in the long run by checking the energy efficiency label on appliances before you buy them.
Understanding energy efficiency labels can help consumers realize significant savings in the long run, or prevent them from overspending on an “energy saving” device that will never pay for itself.
We explain what these efficiency labels mean and how to calculate what you could save in a few years.
What is an energy efficiency label?
Four in five consumers now look for energy efficiency labels when buying a new appliance, according to Uswitch.
Most people will have seen these stickers on appliances and appliances in their homes. They give a color-coded rating to tell users how energy efficient the appliance is.
Appliances are tested to determine how much energy they consume at a “typical” usage level, and are then rated on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G the least efficient.
The label should also tell you how much power your device will use in kilowatt hours, but this will vary between devices.
A fridge-freezer shows how much energy it will use over the course of a year, while the label on a washing machine will show how much energy it uses for 100 washes, for example.
How is the new energy efficiency label?
There has been a lot of confusion with the new A to G system that was introduced in March 2021.
It was updated because the energy output of appliances has been reduced since the old system was brought in, which meant that the old labeling system, which ran from A+++ to G, was becoming redundant.
However, many stores still sell A+, A++, and A+++ rated appliances under the old system, which may stumble some customers.
The most efficient products, previously labeled A+++, roughly correspond to class B or C under the new scheme.
The Energy Saving Trust says that the use of multiple + signs reduced clarity and most modern products now occupy the two or three main classes.
New energy labels using the new rating system can be found on fridges, freezers, washers and dryers, televisions, lighting and dishwashers.
What the kWh rating refers to depends on the type of appliance. It can refer to the energy used per 100 cycles, in the case of a dishwasher or a washing machine, but it can also refer to the energy used per year, or for a certain number of hours.
There is also space for additional information on the new label, including the noise level of an appliance, the amount of water used per use, and the length of a cycle or wash.
How much money do energy efficient appliances save?
When looking to buy a new energy efficient appliance, it makes sense to weigh the initial cost of buying it against how much cheaper running costs could save you on energy bills.
Ben Gallizzi, Uswitch energy expert, said: “You might save £100 by getting a cheap appliance, but you could be left with a hefty energy bill as some devices can cost five times more to run than their alternatives. more energy efficient. .
You can save £100 by buying a cheap appliance, but you could be left with a hefty energy bill
“How quickly a more efficient appliance pays for itself depends on the product, but sometimes energy-efficient devices can cost the same as appliances that cost three times the energy bill.”
A typical A+ rated oven (under the old labeling system) could cost £85.83 to run for a year, £11.17 less than the £96.80 a user would pay for an A-rated oven, according to Uswitch .
But buying the most efficient oven costs £110 more, meaning the most expensive appliance would take almost ten years to pay for itself in energy savings at current unit rates.
Uswitch analyzed the price of some typical appliances with high or low energy efficiency, compared to the cost of running them.
There is an even greater incentive to check the energy efficiency label when comparing lower-rated appliances.
According to Uswitch’s research, a brand that sold refrigerator-freezers was offering an A-rated appliance and an F-rated appliance for the same price.
However, the F-rated appliance could cost £97.92 a year to run, compared to £36.72 for the most efficient fridge-freezer.
A typical A++ rated tumble dryer would cost £35 a year to run, compared to nearly £200 for a less efficient one, with the most efficient taking just 18 months to pay for itself.
If you want to find the best options for home appliances, you can use websites like top tenwhich provides energy efficiency listings for many electrical products.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RUN YOUR DEVICES?
Energy efficiency doesn’t just mean buying efficient appliances, it can also cut costs by using less energy.
If you can calculate how much energy an appliance uses per hour, you can make a decision about where to potentially cut back.
Every appliance has a power rating, usually given in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW) – 1000W = 1kW – that tells you how much electricity it needs to run. The amount of electricity it uses depends on how long it is on.
The way to solve it is by taking the power rating of your device. In this case, we have used the average power rating, but it will depend on the exact size and model of the appliance.
Multiply the power of the device by the number of hours you use it per day and divide this number by 1000 to get the daily kilowatt-hour.
Electricity is sold by the kWh, which tends to appear as “units” on your bill.
You can calculate how much it costs to run an appliance by multiplying the wattage of the device by the number of hours you use it per day, and then by the cost of electricity.
For example, if you use a 1500W air fryer for an average of one hour per day, you will use approximately 1.5 kilowatts of electricity when you use it.
You can then check how much you’re paying for your electricity per kilowatt hour to get a figure – electricity is currently capped at 34p/kWh (but some fixed offers may be paying less than that). That would mean that an hour of frying would cost approximately 51 pence.
For a slow cooker, they can run as low as 200W. If you run it for five hours, it would cost 34p, or about 7p an hour.
Five minute use of a typical 800W microwave will use just a few cents of energy.
|Apparatus||Average rated power*||cost per hour||Cost for 10 minutes|
|desktop||140W||5 p||1 p|
|broadband router||10W||1 p||–|
|Source: The Center for Sustainable Energy *Average power varies depending on your device|
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