# Buying a more energy efficient appliance

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If you're thinking about buying a new appliance, you should think about:

the upfront cost to buy the appliance

the cost of the energy (gas or electricity) you'll need to use it

whether it's worth repairing your appliance instead of replacing it

Some appliances are more energy efficient than others - this means they use less energy 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 roughly work out how much it costs to use.

## How to read an appliance’s energy label

Some appliances have a label on them to help you understand how much energy they use.

Examples of appliances that should have energy labels are:

fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers

ovens

dishwashers

washing machines, tumble dryers and washer-dryers

TVs and computer monitors

light bulbs and LEDs

You'll usually find the energy label on or near an appliance if you're in a shop.

You'll usually be able to see the energy label when viewing products online.

You can use the labels to compare how much energy one appliance uses with another similar appliance.

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)

Appliances with an A rating are the most efficient. Appliances with a G rating are the least efficient. Look for an appliance with the most efficient rating you can afford that meets your needs.

This is an example of an energy label for a washing machine. It tells us the washing machine:

has a E energy rating

uses 90 kilowatt-hours of energy for every 100 washes

Kilowatt-hours (kWh) is a measurement of energy. An energy label will tell you how many kilowatt-hours of energy an appliance uses over a period of time.

This is an example of a TV's energy label that shows '50kWh / 1,000 hours'. This means the TV uses 50 kilowatt-hours of energy for every 1000 hours it’s on.

On washer dryers, washing machines and dishwashers, energy labels show the energy used for every 100 cycles. This is shown inside a circular arrow. 100 cycles is about the same as 2 washes a week over a year.

On TVs and computer monitors, energy labels show how much energy is used for every 1,000 hours. This is about the same as 3 hours a day over a year

On fridges and freezers, energy labels show the energy used per ‘annum’, this means each 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 for every 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 get an idea of how much a new appliance would cost to use. First you need to check your energy bill for the rate you pay for gas or electricity, depending on the appliance.

Your bill will say how much you pay for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of gas or electricity you use. It’s usually a number with 2 decimal places - for example, 25.45p / kWh. To make it easier to work out the costs, you can round it up or down to the nearest penny.

If your bill shows more than one rate, you’ll need to use the right rate to work out your costs accurately.

If your bill has the rates with and without VAT, use the rate that includes VAT.

If you have a time of use tariff, such as Economy 7, use the rate for the time of day you use the appliance. For example, if you use your appliance during the day, use the ‘peak’ or ‘day’ rate.

### Calculate how much the appliance costs to use

Multiply the price you pay for gas or 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.

Jacob is thinking of buying a new electric washing machine and wants to check how much it will cost to use.

Jacob checks his electricity bill. It says his provider charges 25p for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. On his bill it looks like 25p / kWh.

The energy label on the new washing machine says it uses 90 kilowatt-hours for every 100 washes. On the label it looks like 90 kWh / 100.

Jacob works out 90 kilowatt-hours multiplied by 25p, or 90 x 0.25. This comes to £22.50 for 100 washes.

100 washes works out at about 2 washes a week over a year. This is roughly how much Jacob uses his washing machine each week, so he knows the washing machine will cost him about £22.50 to use over a year.

### Comparing how much new appliances cost to use

When you know the approximate 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 over several years.

#### Comparing the total cost of appliances with different energy ratings

We've used a cost of 25p for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity to work out the total cost of using these appliances.

Example A-rated washing machine 51 kWh / 100 | Example C-rated washing machine 68 kWh / 100 | Example E-rated washing machine 90 kWh / 100 | |
---|---|---|---|

Cost of appliance |
Example A-rated washing machine 51 kWh / 100
£379 |
Example C-rated washing machine 68 kWh / 100
£349 |
Example E-rated washing machine 90 kWh / 100
£319 |

Cost for 100 washes |
Example A-rated washing machine 51 kWh / 100
£13 |
Example C-rated washing machine 68 kWh / 100
£17 |
Example E-rated washing machine 90 kWh / 100
£23 |

Cost for 1 wash |
Example A-rated washing machine 51 kWh / 100
13p |
Example C-rated washing machine 68 kWh / 100
17p |
Example E-rated washing machine 90 kWh / 100
23p |

Cost over 1 week |
Example A-rated washing machine 51 kWh / 100
52p |
Example C-rated washing machine 68 kWh / 100
68p |
Example E-rated washing machine 90 kWh / 100
90p |

Cost over 1 year |
Example A-rated washing machine 51 kWh / 100
£27 |
Example C-rated washing machine 68 kWh / 100
£35 |
Example E-rated washing machine 90 kWh / 100
£47 |

Cost over 6 years |
Example A-rated washing machine 51 kWh / 100
£159 |
Example C-rated washing machine 68 kWh / 100
£212 |
Example E-rated washing machine 90 kWh / 100
£281 |

Total cost over 6 years |
Example A-rated washing machine 51 kWh / 100
£538 |
Example C-rated washing machine 68 kWh / 100
£561 |
Example E-rated washing machine 90 kWh / 100
£600 |

The figures in the table are for similar washing machines that:

are used 4 times a week

can take up to 10kg of washing

use mixture of full, half and quarter load sizes

use an eco washing programme - sometimes called ‘eco 40-60’

have a spin speed of 1,400rpm

### Use a tool to compare appliances

You can compare energy labels 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

Use the comparison tool on the Energy Label website.

## If your appliance doesn’t have an energy label

For some appliances, you can estimate 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 120 watts (120W) and a kettle might have a power rating of 3 kilowatts (3kW or 3000W).

You can work out an appliance's energy cost and compare it to another appliance. You’ll need to:

work out the energy an appliance uses in a year

work out the cost to run the appliance for a year

It’s harder to work out exact costs for some appliances. For example, fridges, freezers, ovens, washing machines and tumble dryers use electricity at different rates during their cycle. You should check the manual to find out how much energy these appliances use in a typical cycle.

If you can’t estimate the energy cost for your appliance, you can use our appliances tool to compare the average cost of using different electrical appliances.

### If you find working with numbers difficult

It's worth using a calculator or the calculator app on your phone. You can also ask a friend or relative to help you.

### 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 120 watt (W) TV for 5 hours a day.

120W x 5 hours = 600 watt-hours (Wh) of energy used a day.

Divide this by 1,000 to change it from watt-hours (Wh) to kilowatt-hours (kWh).

600Wh / 1,000 = 0.6kWh a day.

After you’ve worked out the amount of energy used for 1 day, multiply that by 365 to get the annual energy use.

0.6kWh x 365 days = 219kWh of energy used a year.

### Work out the cost to run the appliance for a year

Multiply the kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy used each year by your energy provider’s unit cost of gas or electricity.

For example, your TV uses 219kWh of electricity in a year and you’re charged 25p for each kWh of electricity.

219 x 0.25 = £54.75

This means you’ll pay £54.75 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 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 repair service, you can check what to do if you're unhappy about poor service.

## Save money using your electrical appliance

Find ways to save energy and reduce your bills when you use your electrical appliances.

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