The power bill: it’s something we all dread.
It always arrives on time, despite our irrational hope that maybe they’ll forget to send it, or at least undercharge us by mistake. As we skim over the usage figures and look for the big red number, our palms become sweaty. We brace ourselves. Knees get weak. Arms feel heavy. And then we see the total, and it’s never a pleasant surprise.
It’s no fun when the energy bill comes in. That hefty dollar amount can equal a sizable chunk out of your pay check and cut out your social spending for a few weeks if you haven’t budgeted for it.
Instead of simply accepting it and trying to survive on mi goreng and baked beans on toast for the next week, think about what might be causing your costly bill.
Household appliances are the biggest offenders when it comes to draining your power each month. And some are much worse than others. We’ll find out which appliances are responsible for costing you the most on your energy bill, and whether you’d actually save money with an energy-efficient model.
Should you get an energy-efficient air-conditioner?
Living in Australia, it should come as no surprise the biggest power-guzzler of them all is the air-conditioner. Once it’s been turned on to combat the inescapable summer heat, it’s impossible to switch off ‘til at least mid-autumn.
But the cost of sweet, cool bliss doesn’t come cheap, and it’s going to show on your bill. Accounting for the model and usage, the average air-conditioner will use 200-1,800kWh per month. This could cost you $45 to a whopping $400 each month when it’s being used.
So how long would it take for an energy-efficient air-con to start saving you money on your power bill? Let’s do the math:
|Rinnai 3.5kW Reverse Cycle Inverter Split System Air Conditioner||Fujitsu 2.5kW Split System Inverter Air Conditioner|
|Energy Star Rating||2.5 Stars||5 Stars|
|kWh per year||912kWh||490kWh|
|Cost of Appliance||$930||$1052|
|Annual Cost to Run||$238.03||$127.79|
*Based on cooling 8 hours a day for 4 months in a year. Data retrieved using energyrating.gov.au/calculator
Based off these numbers, it would definitely be worth your money to invest in a more energy-efficient air-conditioner. As the biggest power-user in the home, you’ll be saving money within the first year or two compared to running a less efficient air-conditioner, even if the initial price of a less-efficient model is cheaper.
Should you get an energy-efficient clothes dryer?
It’s so nice to have a clothes dryer to do the heavy lifting for you. Literally. Because everyone knows the muscle pain that is hanging up the bedroom sheets. Instead of spending the better half of an hour hanging up clothes, you can toss ‘em in the dryer and be on your way.
Unfortunately, doing so isn’t as good for your power bill. Clothes dryers use up a lot of energy with each load, using 3-9kWh per cycle. This equals out to about $1-2 each cycle. So if you’re doing 2-3 loads a week of clothes, towels and bedding, it’s going to add up quickly on your bill.
Is it time to invest in a power-saving clothes dryer?
|Bosch 8kg Condenser Dryer||Miele 8kg Heat Pump Dryer|
|Energy Star Rating||2 Stars||7 Stars|
|kWh per year||721kWh||320kWh|
|Cost of Appliance||$1099||$1399|
|Annual Cost to Run||$206.87||$91.79|
*Based on running 2 cycles each week. Data retrieved using energyrating.gov.au/calculator
We’ve worked out that it would take 3 years for the overall cost of the energy-efficient model (cost to run + cost of appliance), to be cheaper than the more power-consuming dryer. As the average lifespan of a clothes dryer is about 10-15 years, you would save hundreds of dollars a year in the long run.
Should you get an energy-efficient fridge?
An appliance running for 24 hours a day is obviously not going to come cheap. How are you meant to cut back your usage on a necessity? It’s not like turning the fridge off when you leave the house is going to do anything other than turn the milk sour.
Though it uses fewer watts to run, the average fridge running 24/7 will use 1-2kWH per hour, which amounts to 495kWH in a year. So your fridge is costing you about $110 every year. And the bigger your model, the more it will cost to run, so it’s smart to take size into consideration before buying.
The upshot? Your fridge is running all day every day, and it should last you for years to come. How does the energy-efficient model stack up?
|Hisense 435L Fridge||LG 450L Fridge|
|Energy Star Rating||2.5 Stars||4.5 Stars|
|kWh per year||488kWh||299kWh|
|Cost of Appliance||$839||$1100|
|Annual Cost to Run||$127.37||$78.04|
It’s going to take you a few years before your energy-efficient fridge will start to save you money – 5 years to be more precise. But since your fridge should last you 14-17 years, you’ll certainly be saving in the long run.
It’s not just about the money though. Choosing an energy-efficient model means reducing your carbon footprint and doing your part for the environment. If you’re environmentally conscious (like us!), going with the appliance that consumes less power is the way to go.
Side note: At National Storage, we pride ourselves on being an eco-conscious organisation. That’s why we offer to buy back our used boxes. This program allows our recycled boxes to be used over and over, in an effort to reduce unnecessary waste.
Should you get an energy-efficient TV?
Your friendly source of entertainment isn’t the worst offender on the list, but it’s still worth an honourable mention. In the Netflix age we live in, the TV can easily be on for 3 hours on weekdays and 6 on weekends. That combined with a plasma screen and high-definition means it’s become costlier to run.
Plus, does anyone really turn their TV off at the power point? That’s a whole lot of standby energy being used every day.
The average TV will use about 340kWK per year, which equals out to about $80-$100 per year on the ol’ energy bill. Let’s find out if it’s worth making the switch to an energy-efficient TV.
|Toshiba 65-inch Smart TV||Sony 65-inch Smart TV|
|Energy Star Rating||3 Stars||5.5 Stars|
|kWh per year||696kWh||373kWh|
|Cost of Appliance||$1495||$1695|
|Annual Cost to Run||$183.96||$105.31|
*Based on operating 3 hours a day during weekdays and 6 hours on weekends. Data retrieved using energyrating.gov.au/calculator
Turns out, it would do you good switching to a power-saving TV. If you’re a bit of a TV binger (and really, who isn’t?) you’d be saving money by the third year. Plus, you won’t feel as bad if you leave your television on standby, knowing it’s not wasting as much precious power.
With these facts and figures, your power bill and the environment in mind, you can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing your next appliance for the home.
And if you need to store a couple of appliances in the meantime? Well, we’ve got a guide for that too.