If you’re looking to save energy and reduce your energy bills there’s more to it than just switching appliances off. You also want them to run as efficiently as they can while they’re on. That’s why energy ratings are important.
An appliance with a good energy rating uses less energy than one with a less efficient rating, and can save you money in the long term on your energy usage.
What is an energy rating?
You’ve probably seen the energy rating stickers on the front of many common appliances.
The Energy Rating Label or ERL system is a joint initiative of the Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments, as well as the New Zealand government.
It allows you to quickly compare the energy efficiency of similar appliances.
The sticker shows from one to six or ten stars. A higher number of stars means the appliance is more energy efficient. It also shows an annual energy usage figure in kilowatt hours (kWh) per year.
Why should I pay attention to energy ratings?
The Energy Rating Label allows you to consider the energy usage of an appliance in addition to its price and other features.
Appliances can account for up to 30% of a home's energy usage. So, using an energy-efficient appliance can save you energy and money on your energy usage and helps you do your bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the product.
Do appliances with good energy ratings cost more?
Not necessarily. Pricing depends on the appliance’s features and brand as well as the energy rating. Sometimes models with high star ratings can cost more. However, choosing a cheaper product with a lower star rating could end up costing you more in running costs (ie. energy usage costs) over the longer term.
You can use the energy label like a "second price tag" to help you decide which appliance to buy, and consider how much it might cost to run.
And, depending on where you live, there could be rebates available to assist you with purchasing more energy-efficient appliances.
Which appliances can I compare?
The energy rating label is mandatory for appliances including:
While energy ratings are important in making an informed decision about which appliance to buy, the way in which you use your appliances also makes a difference to energy usage.