How much power do appliances use?
The average household in Tasmania uses around 10,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. Approximately 50% of that is used for space heating, 25% for hot water, 9% for cooking, 7% for refrigeration, 5% for other appliances and 4% for lighting.
The star rating
Most major appliances have an energy efficiency star rating sticker on them. This is a good way of comparing energy efficiency between brands. Basically, more stars means greater efficiency and this could be a factor in determining the overall value of your purchase. What may seem like a bargain could look less attractive once you compare the running costs with more expensive models. Choose an appliance in the size that suits your needs. That way you'll save on unnecessary energy costs.
The star labels also give you an energy consumption figure, shown as kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. One kilowatt hour (kWh) equals 1000 watts over an hour. For example, a 1000-watt appliance used for one hour will use one kWh. But a 100-watt light globe, will take 10 hours to use one kWh.
You can calculate the hourly running costs of any electrical item. Simply multiply the kW output of the appliance, with the hours of use, with the rate per kW.
Running cost = kW x hrs x rate
Please note: Thermostatically controlled appliances, such as heaters and irons switch off for a period once the desired temperature is reached. The formula below will help you get a more accurate running cost figure for these appliances.
Running cost = kW x hrs x rate x 0.7
Find out more about energy ratings at Energy ratings for appliances (external link).