Which? verdict on 'energy-saving' appliancesHow efficient are so-called energy saving items?

28 October 2010

Miele Ecoline vacuum cleaner

To celebrate Energy Saving Week, we've rounded up just some of the 'energy saving' appliances and gadgets to have gone through the Which? test lab in recent months - to see if they're as energy efficient as they claim, and to test whether energy savings have impacted on overall performance. 

We rigorously test products on a range of criteria - including energy efficiency and running costs. Read the full review of each of these energy savers using the links beneath each item to see if we recommend them as Which? Best Buys.

1. Miele Ecoline vacuum cleaner

When launched in March, Miele claimed the 1,300W Ecoline vacuum cleaner could clean as well as a 2,000W appliance - and when we put it to the test in the lab, we found it scored better than average for energy efficiency. But was its cleaning power compromised?

Read the full Miele Ecoline vacuum cleaner review to see how well it tackled floors and carpets.

2. Siemens WT46W566GB tumble dryer

Tumble dryers aren't usually associated with energy efficiency, but this Siemens model may appeal if you still want to reduce your environmental impact. It uses innovative heat pump technology to reduce energy use while drying clothes, reusing heat from the extracted warm, damp air to continue drying the load and is A-rated for energy. 

At around £800, it doesn't come cheap - find out what we made of the Siemens WT46W566GB tumble dryer in the full review.

AEG-Electrolux Super Eco washing machine

3. AEG-Electrolux L645850LE Super Eco washing machine

This Super Eco washing machine from AEG-Electrolux certainly sounds like it's going to be environmentally friendly from its name - and we also found it to have good energy and water efficiency.

This model comes with a special Super Eco program - but it's a cold wash that might not suit every load. Find out more in our full review of the AEG-Electrolux Super Eco washing machine.

4. Siemens SN26T293GB dishwasher

The Siemens SN26T293GB dishwasher uses 'zeolith minerals', which trap heat from the wash and release it during the drying cycle, which saves extra energy each cycle - and those savings over time can add up. 

But at £900, is it value for money? See how this model fared in the Which? Test lab in our full dishwashers review.

5. Gas energy saver

A gas energy saver - priced at around £8 - sits on top of your hob and is designed to burn gas more efficiently. 

Sadly though, it failed to do so in our tests - we found it actually took longer to boil a pan of water using this gadget than without it. Find out what other products we think you don't need.

Eco Kettle 3

6. Eco Kettle 3

The Eco Kettle 3 is the third in the popular Eco Kettles range. Unlike regular kettles, the Eco Kettle has a dual-chamber design to save energy and time. It works by allowing you to fill the kettle with water but only releases the amount you actually want to boil - from one 200ml cup to its full 1.5l capacity - at the touch of a button.

Is it a good energy efficient buy overall? Read the full review of the Eco Kettle 3 in our kettles review to find out.

7. Philips GC3640 steam iron

Philips claims its EnergyCare irons save energy through their handles. When the handle is pressed down, the iron steams as normal. When you lift the pressure off the handle, Philips says the steam supply is cut off immediately, cutting energy consumption by 20%. It sounds laudible in energy saving terms, but our quick calculations suggested the cash savings added up to about £5 a year. 

Want to find out how well this Philips model actually irons? We put it to the test in the Which? lab - read the review for more information. 

8. Liebherr KTPES1750 fridge

This freestanding counter-height fridge was easy to set up and use, and it's rated as A++ for energy efficiency. When we tested it, the average running cost we calculated was low compared to other fridges.

Read our full lab test verdict in our Liebherr KTPES1750 review.

AEG-Electrolux fridge freezers

9. Miele F12020S freezer

This freezer model from Miele is also rated A++ for energy efficiency under the EU scheme, and we too found it to have low running costs compared to other freezer models - under £20 a year.

Sadly it's not a frost-free model, though - read the full lab test review of the Miele F12020S for all our findings.

10. AEG-Electrolux S75348KG98 fridge freezer

This fridge freezer was able to chill and freeze food quickly - which helps to preserve your food in the best condition. That means tasty meals, and that you're less likely to need to throw items away before you get round to using them.

You can find out full running costs details - and whether it scored well enough to be a Which? Best Buy - by visiting the review.

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