Let the stars align when you choose your appliances

Published on
11 January 2021

Are you seeing stars when trying to choose the right appliance?

It probably won’t surprise you to know that star ratings on appliances work basically the same way they do on movies. Except while movie ratings tell us how much we are likely to enjoy the movie, the appliance ratings tell us how much you are going to enjoy using less power!

The more stars on your appliance, the more energy efficient it is. So, while the upfront cost of buying an appliance with a lot of stars may seem a bit more blockbuster than low budget, the running costs are what will save you in the long term.

Here’s something for the number crunchers

On average, Tasmanians use approximately 50% of electricity for space heating, 25% for hot water, 9% for cooking, 7% for refrigeration, 5% for other appliances and 4% for lighting.

This is around 10,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year.

On the rating label, there’s also an energy consumption figure in kilowatt hours (kWh) per year as well as stars.

1 kilowatt hour (kWh) = 1000 watts per hour.

So, a 1000-watt appliance used for one hour will use one kWh.

And a 100-watt light globe will take 10 hours to use one kWh.

To work out the running cost

Find the kW output of the appliance (not the kWh), and times that by the hours of use, and by the electricity rate per kW (which you can find in our rates and charges):

Running cost = kW x hrs x rate

If you have an appliance with a thermostat that turns off when they get to the right temperature (like a heater or an iron), you can work that out too:

Running cost = kW x hrs x rate x 0.7

And the Oscar goes to…

When you know how much power each appliance makes up on your bill, and how to work out the ratings of each appliance, you can choose how and when to spend your money. (A big tip: when you choose an appliance, any appliance, make sure it’s the right size for you. It’ll save you money!)

You can find out more about energy ratings for appliances (external link) http://www.energyrating.gov.au/

Now sit back, relax and pass the popcorn.