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Energy saving tips

Make sense of the energy label and find ways to reduce your household's energy usage.

Energy saving tips. Make sense of the energy label and find ways to reduce your household's energy usage.

Energy costs can be high, but there are plenty of things you can do to help keep them low and reduce your carbon footprint.

The energy label has changed.

The energy label has changed

Confused about energy efficiency ratings? Don’t be. To help customers make an informed decision when choosing household appliances, the energy efficiency rating system has been simplified from the old A+++ to D scale to a more straightforward A-G scale. This means it’ll be easier to pick the most energy efficient appliances at a glance.

Breaking down the energy label

There's more to energy labels than you might think

Yes, more efficient appliances can help reduce your energy usage, which could lead to savings on your energy bills. However, it's not just about whether an appliance is rated A or not - it's about how you use it.

Energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency

The top half of the label shows the energy efficiency. Appliances are rated from A to G, with A being the highest energy rating. The new measurements are based on ‘real life’ household usage, enabling a more realistic analysis.

Remember this is a measure of efficiency and not the running costs. An appliance can be very efficient, but still be expensive to use if, say, it’s very large or is being used all day. Handily, the label has more information that can help you understand the costs.


Energy consumption.

Energy consumption

The middle section of the label shows how much electricity a product uses so you can easily compare different models. Energy consumption is measured in kilowatt hours per year (220 standard wash cycles/year). The lower the number, the less energy it’ll use and the more money you’ll save.

The icons provide additional information such as noise levels and water consumption. These will differ depending on the product type.

What’s changed?

What’s changed?

Since March 2021

  • The energy efficiency scale has changed from A+++ to D, to A-G, 
  • Energy labels now include a QR code, which you can scan to learn more about the product.
  • All products are rated for noise A-D
  • These changes are for washing machines, washer dryers, dishwashers, fridge-freezers, wine storage appliances, TVs and computer monitor. 
  • The energy efficiency scale hasn’t changed for cooking appliances, tumble dryers or light bulbs.
Energy consumption.

Energy consumption

The estimated amount of energy used per year or per cycle. Compare this number on different machines to judge which will cost more to use.

Water consumption.

Water consumption

An estimate of how much water will be used per cycle, which also add to your running costs.

Noise level.

Noise level

How loud the appliance is measured in decibels (dbs). 40 dbs is about the same volume as an electric toothbrush.

Capacity - clothes and dishes

How much you can fit into your machine, which for dishwashers is messaged in place settings. Running a machine half empty, or overloaded, will cost more.

Drying efficiency - clothes and dishes

How efficient the appliance is when drying for dishwashers or spin-drying for washing machines. This can be different than the overall energy rating.

Fridge and frozen storage volume.

Fridge and frozen storage volume

The capacity of the freezer in litres (if you filled it with water). It takes more energy to chill a half-empty device, so make you sure you choose the right size.

Is your tumble dryer vented?

Moisture is pumped out through a hose, which can be put through a window or be professionally installed. They cost less to buy, but cost more to run.

Is your tumble dryer a condenser dryer?

Moisture collects in a tank, so no installation is required. Some models come with a heat pump that recycles the heat, making them very energy efficient.

Washer dryers - energy for wash and dry cycles.

Washer dryers - energy for wash and dry cycles

The capacity, water consumption and duration is now provided for a wash & dry cycle, and a washing cycle.

Shop energy efficient appliances

How to save energy at home

Energy costs can be high, but there are plenty of things you can do to help keep them low and reduce your carbon footprint. Cut your consumption with these twelve energy saving tips.

1. Fill, but don’t overfill

Make the best use of every wash. But if you overfill then your dishes or clothes won’t get cleaned properly.

2. Wash at a lower temperature

Clothes with stains or marks don’t need a lot of heat. A lower temperature will work fine for freshening them up.

3. Soak stains before you wash

Soaking makes it more likely that stains will come out clean, reducing the need for any additional washes.

4. Arrange dishes on dishwasher rack

Put all the large items at the back. If you put them at the front, water can’t get passed to items at the back, so they’ll stay a bit dirty.

5. Put your TV onto energy saving mode

This dims the backlight, which can reduce energy by a third. This won’t affect your day viewing, and you can turn it off at night.

6. Keep your fridge and freezer full

It actually costs more to chill a fridge or freezer that’s half-empty. Use empty plastic bottles or food containers to fill space and reduce costs.

7. Use thermal curtains

Covering your windows really helps to keep the heat in, especially if you choose curtains with an extra thermal layer. Make sure you close them as soon as it starts going dark.

8. Don’t dry clothes on your radiators

When you cover a radiator with clothes, it has to work harder to reach the right temperature, wasting lots of valuable energy. Choose an indoor clothes airer instead.

9. Install a smart thermostat

Control your heating from your phone. With a smart thermostat, you can turn off the heating when you’re out and program the temperature setting for each day.


10. Use energy saving bulbs

If you haven’t already, upgrade your old light bulbs to new LED bulbs. Each bulb you replace can save you around £9 a year, plus energy saving bulbs last longer.


11. Switch to smart lighting

Never leave a light on again. With smart lighting, you can see what lights are on using your phone and flip the switch wherever you are. You’ll never have to get up to use the switch again.

Smart plug.

12. Add some smart plugs

Like smart lights, smart plugs mean you can turn anything off at the plug with your phone, wherever you are. It’s a great way to monitor energy waste in your home.

Sainsbury's energy

Rewarding home energy

Rewarding home energy

Choosing Sainsbury’s Energy means your appliances get to run on 100% renewables-backed electricity. You’ll also get up to 8,000 Nectar points when you sign up*.

Along with dedicated customer service, you’ll find peace of mind with fixed-price tariffs and no exit fees.

Ready to make the switch?

Get your quote

*For more information on Nectar points please click here.

Need some more advice?

Buying a tumble dryer

Learn the difference between condenser, vented and heat pump dryers

Washing machine guide

Need some help choosing a new washing machine?

Fridge freezer guide

Find out which fridge freezer is best for your household.

Appliance help

Tips and advice to help you choose the right appliance for your home.

Why buy at Argos?