Buying a more energy efficient appliance
If you're thinking about buying a new appliance, you should think about:
the cost of the electricity you'll need to use it
the upfront cost to buy the appliance
whether it's worth repairing your appliance instead of replacing it
Some appliances are more energy efficient than others - this means they use less electricity and cost less to run.
Some appliances have energy rating labels. You can use these to check how efficient an appliance is and compare it to other appliances.
If you have an appliance that doesn’t have an energy label, you can still work out how much it costs to use.
How to read an appliance’s energy label
An appliance should have a label on it to help you understand how much energy it uses.
You'll usually find the energy saving label on or near an appliance if you're in a shop.
If you're searching online, you'll usually be able to view the energy label when viewing products.
You can compare how much energy one appliance uses with another similar appliance by checking the information on the label.
This is an example of an energy label for a washing machine. It tells us the washing machine:
has a C energy rating
uses 123 kilo-watt hours per 100 washes
This is an example of an energy label for a TV. It tells us the TV:
has an F energy rating
uses 123 kilowatt hours per 1,000 hours of use
HDR means ‘high dynamic range’ - the TV shows more colours and is brighter. Some TVs in HDR mode might use more energy per 1,000 hours of use.
You should check the label for the 2 most important parts of information about an appliance’s energy use:
energy rating from A to G - this tells you how energy efficient the appliance is
energy use in kilowatt-hours (kWh)
Kilowatt-hours (kWh) is a measurement of energy. An energy label will tell you how many kWh an appliance uses over a period of time.
For example, a TV’s energy label might show 123kWh / 1,000 hours. This means the TV uses 123kWh of energy for every 1000 hours it’s on.
This part of the energy label shows the appliance uses 123kWh every 1,000 hours of use.
A washing machine’s energy label will have a circular arrow with 100 inside it. This shows how many kWh the washing machine uses every 100 washes. For example, 123kWh / 100 washes.
This part of the energy label shows the appliance uses 123kWh every 100 cycles.
Energy labels will always show the same number of hours or cycles. This makes it easier for you to compare how much energy they use:
tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers will show the energy used per 100 cycles
TVs and screens will show energy used per 1,000 hours
fridges and freezers will show energy used per ‘annum’, this means per year
1,000 hours is about the same as just under 3 hours a day over a year. 100 cycles is about the same as 2 cycles per week over a year.
The bottom part of the label shows other information about the appliance - for example, how long the eco wash takes or how many litres of water is used per wash.
If the energy rating scale on the label goes from A+++ to D, this is an older style energy label. An A+++ rating is not as energy efficient as an A on the newer energy labels.
Work out how much an appliance costs to use
You can use an energy label to work out how much a new appliance would cost to use. First you need to check your energy bill for the rate you pay for electricity.
Your bill will say how much you pay for each kWh of electricity you use - for example, 34p per kWh.
Calculate how much the appliance costs to use
Multiply the price you pay for electricity by the number of kilowatt hours on the energy label. This will give you an approximate energy cost for using the appliance for a certain amount of time.
Greg is thinking of buying a new washing machine and wants to check how much electricity it will cost to use.
Greg checks his energy bill. It says his energy provider charges 34p for 1kWh. On his bill it looks like 34p/kWh.
The energy label on the new washing machine says it uses 90kWh every 100 cycles.
Greg works out 90kWh multiplied by 34p, or 90 x 0.34. This comes to £30.60 for 100 cycles.
100 cycles works out at about 2 cycles a week over a year. This is roughly how much Greg uses his washing machine each week, so he knows the washing machine will cost him about £30.60 to use over a year.
Comparing how much new appliances cost to use
When you know the approximate energy cost of using an appliance, you can add it to the cost of buying the appliance. You can then use this to compare the total cost of different appliances.
Comparing the total cost of appliances with different energy ratings
We've based the cost of using appliances on the national average price of electricity - 34p per kilowatt hour (kWh).
|Example A-rated washing machine||Example C-rated washing machine||Example E-rated washing machine|
|Cost of appliance||Example A-rated washing machine £400||Example C-rated washing machine £350||Example E-rated washing machine £300|
|Energy efficiency rating of appliance||Example A-rated washing machine A||Example C-rated washing machine C||Example E-rated washing machine E|
|Energy cost over 1 year||Example A-rated washing machine £30.30||Example C-rated washing machine £42.00||Example E-rated washing machine £55.70|
|Energy cost over 6 years||Example A-rated washing machine £182||Example C-rated washing machine £253||Example E-rated washing machine £334|
|Total cost over 6 years||Example A-rated washing machine £582||Example C-rated washing machine £603||Example E-rated washing machine £634|
The figures in the table are for similar washing machines that:
have a washing load size up to 9kg and almost a full load
used a washing programme between 40C and 60C - sometimes called ‘eco 40 to 60’
are used 3 to 4 times a week
have a spin speed of 1,400
Use a tool to compare appliances
You can compare how much energy an appliance uses and how much it costs to run on the Energy Label website. To use the tool, you can either use:
the ‘QR Scan’ tab - use your phone camera to scan the QR code on the appliance’s energy label
the ‘Enter Model’ tab - enter the brand name and model number of the appliance
If your appliance doesn’t have an energy label
You can still work out the energy used and the running cost, if you know the power rating of your appliance.
You can find the power rating:
on a label on your appliance with the model and serial number
in the user manual for your appliance - if you still have it
If you can't find the user manual for your appliance, check the manufacturer's website.
The power rating is a number in kilowatts (kW) or watts (W) - 1 kilowatt is the same as 1000 watts. For example, a TV might have a power rating of 150W and a kettle might have a power rating of 2.5kW.
You can work out an appliance's energy cost and compare it to another appliance.
Work out the energy an appliance uses in a year
Work out the cost to run the appliance for a year
Work out the energy an appliance uses in a year
Multiply the appliance's power rating by the number of hours you think you'll use it each day. This tells you how much energy the appliance uses a day.
For example, if you expect to use a 200W TV for 5 hours a day. 200W x 5 = 1000W of energy used a day.
1000 watts a day is the same as 1kWh a day.
If you’ve worked out the energy used per day, you can multiply the figure by 365 days to get the annual energy use.
For example, a 200W TV will use 1kWh of energy a day. 365 x 1 = 365kWh of energy used a year.
Work out the cost to run the appliance for a year
Multiply the kWh used per year by your energy provider’s unit cost of electricity.
For example, if you’re charged 34p per kWh of electricity. 0.34 x 365kWh = £127.75.
This means you’ll pay £127.75 a year to have your TV on for 5 hours each day.
Repairing an appliance instead of buying a new one
Your appliances can become less energy efficient as they get older. You might save money by getting your appliance repaired or serviced.
Getting your appliance serviced can make it more energy efficient and could also mean you don’t have to buy a new one yet.
For example, your fridge or freezer might have become less efficient after a few years because the plastic seal around the door has become loose or worn. You might be able to find replacement parts for your appliance online and fit them yourself.
You might also be able to clean filters on washing machines or tumble dryers yourself.
You must be sure that replacing a part yourself won’t make your appliance unsafe. Check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website to find out how to do it.
If you decide to book a repair service, check:
the callout fee
the hourly rate after the callout fee
if there’s a warranty or guarantee for the repair work
if they'll tell you what spare parts are needed before they buy them
what the repair person can do to your appliance before you commit to spending your money
You shouldn’t book a trader if they can’t give you all of this information - they’re legally required to. Find a trader and check you can trust them.
If something’s gone wrong with an appliance you’ve bought you might get a repair paid for by the retailer - check if you can get a repair for faulty goods.
If your appliance’s warranty or guarantee is still valid, you might get a repair paid for by the manufacturer. You should check the terms and conditions of your warranty or guarantee, or contact your appliance’s manufacturer.
If you’re unhappy about a service, you can check what to do if you're unhappy about poor service.
Save money using your electrical appliance
Help us improve our website
Take 3 minutes to tell us if you found what you needed on our website. Your feedback will help us give millions of people the information they need.