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 is changing
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.
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.
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 changing and what's staying the same?
From the 01 March 2021.
- The current energy efficiency scale, A+++ to D, will change to the new one, A-G.
- Energy labels will include a QR code, which you can scan to learn more about the product.
- All products are to be rated for noise, A-D.
- These changes will impact washing machines, washer dryers, dishwashers, fridge-freezers, wine storage appliances, TVs and computer monitors.
- The energy efficiency scale won't change for cooking appliances, tumble dryers or light bulbs.
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.
An estimate of how much water will be used per cycle, which also add to your running costs.
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
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
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.
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.
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.