How to use less electricity Buying energy-efficient appliances
Few of us could function without a fridge or washing machine, and that Sunday roast won't cook itself - but there are still ways of cutting back how much of your energy bills go towards running appliances such as fridge freezers, tumble dryers, washing machines and tumble dryers.
Running appliances make up a significant percentage of your bills - in fact fridges and freezers are the biggest contributors to your home energy bill after central heating - they account for 20% of electricity used in the average UK home. It therefore makes sense to invest in energy- efficient appliances when you come to upgrade your goods.
Buy energy efficient
Most white goods and common kitchen appliances have an energy-efficiency rating on the label (usually between A and G). Since July 2012 all new fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers must have a minimum rating of A+.
With so many appliances now rated A or above, it can be difficult to decide between them. New energy labels make this clearer, showing each appliance's annual energy consumption in kWh.
How much do appliances cost to run?
Appliances can vary a lot in the amount of energy they guzzle. For example the most energy-efficient fridge freezer in our tests costs just £14 per year to run. The most expensive would set you back £102.
Even models which have the same energy-efficiency rating can have very different annual running costs. Our tests found that two A++ rated washing machines can vary in energy cost by 30%, or £130, over five years. And if you bought your appliances before September 1999 they could have much lower efficiency ratings and guzzle far more energy than they are allowed to today.
Smaller energy bills
Which? tests appliances to find out how energy efficient they are so we can show you exactly how much they will cost you to run. We look beyond the energy labels and test appliances how you actually use them. Then we work out how much they'll add to your energy bill.
To make it easy for you to work out whether that cheap appliance you're considering buying really is a good deal, we’ve created easy-to-use energy running costs calculators to help you work out how much it will cost to own over its lifetime. Click on one of the calculator links below to have a look at how much modern appliances will add to your bills.
- Dishwasher energy cost calculator
- Freezer energy cost calculator
- Fridge energy cost calculator
- Fridge freezer energy cost calculator
- Tumble dryer energy cost calculator
- TV running costs calculator
- Washer-dryer energy costs calculator
- Washing machine energy costs
Once you've identified a cheap-to-run appliance or TV, Which? members can log in to see how it was rated by Which? experts in our independent tests. If you're not already a Which? member, sign up to get instant access to all our reviews and advice for just £1.