Energy-saving kitchen appliances
By choosing energy efficient kitchen appliances or 'white goods' you can save money on your gas and electricity bills. When you go into a shop to buy a new fridge, freezer, dishwasher or other appliance you can look for certain ratings that give you an indication of how energy efficient each product is.
The EU Energy Label
Goods such as fridges, washing machines, electric ovens, tumble dryers, lamps and light bulbs, and even air conditioning units are all labelled with an EU Energy Label. This compulsory rating scores items from A (the most efficient) to G (the least), although fridges and freezers have two extra ratings (from A++ to G).
The Energy Saving Trust's 'Recommended' Label
There's also the Energy Saving Trust's 'Recommended' label, which helps you identify the best products in terms of running costs, energy efficiency and carbon emissions. This label can only be added to the most energy efficient products on the market, so it guarantees that you're buying the very best. While the product may cost more to buy at the outset, it could work out more economical in the long term due to cheaper running costs.
Specific household appliances
Some household appliances consume more power than others, and these are the ones to focus on. Since fridges and freezers remain switched on all the time, for example, their energy efficiency rating can make a real difference – by swapping to an energy-efficient model you could reduce your electricity bill by more than 60%, according to Confused.com.
A dishwasher can also add a significant amount to your electricity bill, costing an average of £48 a year to run, according to the Energy Saving Trust. It costs about £7 less to run a cycle on an Energy Saving Trust 'Recommended' dishwasher than it does on an old, inefficient model. The Recommended dishwashers also use less water, which can make a difference if your household is on a water meter.
Washing machines have three ratings: energy efficiency, spin efficiency and wash performance – and even with an energy efficient model you can save extra energy by washing clothes (except the dirtiest items!) at lower temperatures.
Other ways to save energy and cut household bills
To save even more energy:
- Wait until your dishwasher, washing machine or tumble dryer is completely full before you run it; 'half loads' actually use more than half the energy.
- Dry clothes outside on a washing line, if you can.
- Turn off appliances when you've finished using them. A shocking £1 billion worth of energy is wasted in the UK every year by appliances left on standby, according to the Energy Saving Trust.