Energy Efficiency in Australia | Become More Energy-Efficienct

Home Appliances in Australia

Energy efficiency is a crucial topic in Australia, playing a significant role in both environmental sustainability and economic savings. By adopting energy-efficient practices and technologies, Australians can reduce their electricity and gas consumption, leading to lower utility bills. Energy efficiency measures, such as choosing the right tv, using energy-efficient appliances, and conserving resource will not only help the environment, but help you maintain low energy costs.

Energy Efficiency for Home Appliances

Home appliances make life easier. From cooking, to heating your home and water, to washing our clothes, and keeping us entertained, life would be much more difficult without them. Home appliances also consume most of the energy in our home, and using them comes at a cost to our wallets. Discover more about how home appliances affect our energy usage, and what you can do to reduce the costs associated with them, by reading below.

How Much Energy Do I Spend on Home Appliances?

It’s probably no surprise that most of our energy usage goes towards home appliances, heating and cooling our home, and water heating. Here is a breakdown of how the average household in Australia uses its annual energy consumption.

  • 40% heating and cooling
  • 21% water heating
  • 33% household appliances (including refrigeration and cooking)
  • 6% lighting

Of the 33% used for home appliances (not including heating and cooling), most of your energy consumption is done in the kitchen. Between cooking and storing food, over 30% of your home appliance energy usage can be found here. For a full breakdown of what home appliances and use the most energy, see the table below.

Percentage of energy usage for household appliances
Home appliancePercentage of energy usage
(of the 33% above)
Fridge / freezer18%
TV / Home entertainment24%
Home office9%
Pool and spa5%
Clothes dryer2%

Source: Your Home Government website

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Average Power Usage and Running Cost for Home Appliances

How much of your energy bill goes towards your household appliances really depends on a number of factors. The size of your home appliance, how often you use it, and your energy rates all go into the cost of running your appliance. Below is a table of some of the most common household appliances with an average size (in watts), along with the average household’s usage, and estimated running cost per year.

Average Power Usage for Household Appliances*
Home ApplianceSize (average) in wattsUsage hrs / yearEstimated Running Cost per Year
Stovetop / Oven (electric)2,100 watts150 hours$63 / year
Microwave1,000 watts100 hours$20 / year
Washing machine900 watts400 hours$72 / year
Clothes dryer4,000 watts100 hours$81 / year
Dishwasher2,400 watts200 hours$97 / year
Fridge (400 litre)68 watts8,760 hours$120 / year
Television (80cm, 3-stars)130 watts1,400 hours$36 / year
Air conditioning (small, window)2,300 watts1,000 hours$464 / year
Heater (large radiator)2,400 watts600 hours$290 / year

*Source: Ausgrid home appliance estimator. Your actual energy usage and running costs depend on home appliance wattage, how often you use it, and usage rates.

It's important to note that all of these numbers can vary depending on your exact circumstances. For example the numbers given for heating are for a radiator. However, there are several types of home heating including hydronic, ducted, and underfloor heating.

Home Appliance Running Costs

Hours per day

Become More Efficient With Your Household Appliance Usage

As shown above, your home appliances can cost you a lot over a year. However, by implementing a few energy saving tips and tricks, you can reduce your energy consumption and annual cost. Here are a few ways you can reduce your usage.

 Unplug: Even when your appliances are turned off or on standby (televisions and computers for example, or anything with a continuous display), they’re still zapping energy from your home. Completely unplug your appliances when you’re not using them, or utilize a surge protector with an on/off switch to completely cut their power.

 Change your laundry habits: Most clothes don’t need to be washed in hot water. Switch to washing your clothes in cold water to reduce your energy consumption, and hang your laundry to dry on warm days to avoid using your clothes dryer.

 Adjust the thermostat: Keep your thermostat between 25 and 26 degrees in the summer and between 18 and 20 degrees in the winter. Each additional degree of heating or cooling can increase your running costs by 10%.

 Check your fridge and freezer: Set your refrigerator to 4 or 5 degrees and your freezer between -15 and -18. Make sure your fridge and freezer are in a cool, well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and ensure there is a least 5cm of space around each for proper ventilation.

 Insulate: Make sure your home is energy efficient by replacing old windows with energy efficient ones, weatherizing your home to prevent drafts, and adding insulation to prevent heat transfer through your walls. For a cheaper option, purchase or make some draft stoppers (also known as draft snakes or draft blockers) to block drafts around door and window frames.

 Replace old appliances: If you have old home appliances, this is the perfect excuse for an upgrade. Purchase new appliances with energy-efficient ratings or “eco” options to reduce energy consumption anywhere from 9% to 25%.

 Use energy-efficient heaters: When used appropriately, energy-efficient heaters can save you a lot of money. They are a great option to heat small, targeted areas and consume far less energy than other power-hungry systems liked ducted & underfloor-heating.

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Energy Efficiency Rating for Home Appliances

In Australia, it is mandatory for some electrical household appliances to come with an energy rating. These energy ratings use a star system, the more stars an appliance has, the more energy efficient. Originally, star ratings were out of six stars, but now the 10-star system is also in use. This energy rating label allows customers to compare similar appliances in order to choose the best, and most efficient option. While an appliance with a better rating might cost more upfront, the amount of energy (and therefore money) you could save over a year can often be much more.

Energy Efficient Home Appliances
ApplianceEnergy Efficient Rating
DishwasherAt least 3.5 stars, with each star reducing your running cost by 30%
Washers and DryersAt least 3.5 stars. An energy efficient washer can save you 25% of running costs, and an energy efficient dryer can save you 15%. A washer with energy efficient settings (half-load or “eco” settings) can save you more.
Hot Water SystemsAim for a 5-star hot water system, which can save you 15% on your running costs.
Fridges and FreezersAt least 4-stars for a refrigerator, 3.5 for a chest freezer, and 4.5 for an upright freezer. By researching what fridge size works best for you, you can reduce wasted space (and additional energy usage).
Air ConditioningAt least 4.5 stars, and choosing an aircon with fans and evaporative coolers can use 1/10 the energy of other air conditioning models, such as portable air conditioners.

Energy Efficiency for Tv & Computers

Entertainment systems and appliances cover a broad range of products, including televisions, computers and computer monitors, audio speakers, and gaming systems, and are things we use almost every day. While catching up on the latest show on Netflix, or gaming with friends for a few hours, might seem like a great way to pass the time, it’s also a great way to increase your energy bill. Find out how your streaming, surfing, and gaming habits influence your energy consumption and ways to reduce your energy usage, by reading more below.

Energy-Efficient TVs and Computer Ratings

In Australia, certain home appliances, including entertainment systems, are subject to regulation and energy efficiency requirements before being able to be sold. This regulation includes Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), which specify the minimum energy performance level an appliance needs to meet, and/or an Energy Rating Label.

An Energy Rating Label is a star-rating system used in Australia so consumers can quickly compare different home appliances to find the more energy-efficient choice. This label comes with either 1-6 or 1-10 stars, with each star meaning a higher energy efficiency rating. When it comes to home entertainment products, such as TVs or computer monitors, it’s important to consider that these Energy Rating Labels can only be used to compare appliances of the same size. For example, you could compare two 55-inch televisions, but not a 55-inch and a 60-inch television.

When comparing energy efficiency, it’s also important to consider the energy consumption of your television, computer, or other home entertainment product. If, for example, two 55-inch televisions have a 6-star Energy Rating Label, but one uses 500kWh per year, and one uses 550kWh per year, you’ll want to choose the television that uses 500kWh per year because while it has the same energy efficiency rating, it uses less energy overall.

Why Should I Care if My TV or Computer is Energy Efficient?

Choosing an energy-efficient product can reduce your energy bill, plain and simple. Energy efficiency is rated based on how much energy your appliance uses per year: the more energy efficient it is, the less energy you use. This directly translates to spending less money on your energy bills.

Energy-efficient appliances, no matter if they’re a refrigerator, dishwasher, or clothes dryer, usually cost more upfront than choosing a less efficient model. However, that cost is often recouped over the lifetime of your appliance, as you spend less energy using it. Not only this, but energy-efficient appliances are also better for the environment. Reducing your carbon emissions, even by a little, can add up to a lot.

Energy Consumption of TVs and Computers

Home entertainment products, such as TVs and computers, might not seem like they use a lot of energy. However, choosing a more efficient home entertainment appliance can save you hundreds of dollars over their lifespan. Below is a table of the energy consumption and cost of different sized televisions and computer monitors, with different energy efficiency ratings, so you can see just how much you’d save switching to a more energy-efficient model. It’s important to note that these are based on averages, including average usage and average energy rates, and your lifestyle and habits will affect these numbers.

TV Energy Consumption
TV sizeEnergy Rating LabelAnnual Energy UsageAnnual Energy Cost
40-inch3-star273 kWh per year$83.85 per yea
50-inch3-star419 kWh per year$128.74 per year
40-inch5-star175 kWh per year$53.66 per year
50-inch5-star268 kWh per year$82.40 per year
50-inch6-star215 kWh per year$65.92 per year
60-inch6-star306 kWh per year$93.92 per year

Source: Based on an average usage of 2hrs/weekday and 4hrs/weekend day. Average energy usage rate of 30.7c/kWh.

Computer Energy Consumption
Computer monitor sizeEnergy Rating LabelAnnual Energy UsageAnnual Energy Cost
20-inch3-star76 kWh per year$23.37 per year
25-inch3-star114 kWh per year$35.09 per year
20-inch5-star49 kWh per year$14.96 per year
25-inch5-star73 kWh per year$22.46 per year
25-inch6-star59 kWh per year$17.97 per year
30-inch6-star80 kWh per year$24.71 per year

Source: Based on an average usage of 4hrs/weekday and 4hrs/weekend day. Average energy usage rate of 30.7c/kWh.

How to Reduce the Energy Consumption of My TV and Computer System

Regardless of the energy efficiency of your TV, computer, or home entertainment system, there are ways to reduce their energy consumption. Here are all the tips and tricks for keeping your energy usage down, no matter how much Netflix you watch.

 Choose the right screen: Plasma TVs might have been great in the past, but they are far less energy efficient than LED or LCD. As technology advances, not only are LED and LCD, or OLED TVs more energy-efficient, they are also thinner and have better picture quality than their plasma counterparts.

 Screen size: While we all want to experience having an in-home cinema, choosing the biggest TV screen means less energy efficiency. It makes sense that the bigger the screen, the more power that’s needed to display the picture on that screen.

 Screen brightness: If you don’t need the brightness of your TV or computer screen turned up all the way, try turning it down a bit. A dimmer screen uses less energy than one with its brightness at 100%.

 Avoid sleep mode or standby: While it might be easier to just switch your entertainment system to sleep mode or standby while you're off washing clothes or messing about the house, it will still draw energy from your home. Switch your TV, computer, or gaming system off completely so it isn’t zapping energy when you’re not using it. If you have a total-home entertainment system or a full-home office, get one of those surge protectors with a power switch to make shutting it down even easier.

 Turn it off: This might seem obvious but turn off the TV or computer when you’re not actually using it. If you need to fall asleep with the TV on, make sure to set an automatic shut off so it isn’t running all night.

 Unplug: If you’re using a laptop or other portable electronic device with a battery, unplug it once it’s at 100%. Otherwise, it’ll continue to draw unnecessary power while it’s plugged in to keep its charge at 100%.

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Tips to Save Energy & Be More Energy Efficient

Let In the Light, Keep In the Heat

Curtain Management


The sun is by far the cheapest, most intense source of heat… let it come in in all its glory! Always remember to open your curtains in the morning and let mother nature do the rest, one of the better energy-saving tips for winter is to just take advantage of whatever little sunlight you can get.

However, do not forget to do the opposite when the sun goes down. Close your curtains and blinds to prevent any heat from getting out the same way it got in, through the windows. We recommend you purchase insulated, heat-saving curtains to optimize heat preservation further.

Beware of Air Leaks & Drafts

Speaking of leaks, does your household have any cracks or holes? These can be a major escape route for that precious heat. Fit draught seals wherever you find gaps and pay close attention to external doors, windows and the attic & basement. Anything that will prevent cold air from getting in, will keep warm air from getting out. Invest in door seals, strips and door snakes and turn your home into a hermetic fortress.

For minor leaks, caulk or foam should de the trick, but larger leaks may require you to install new insulation.

Be Smart About Your Space

Keep your rooms shut

These are probably the biggest “leaks” you will find at home. Do you need to heat the dusty pool table room? Ok, you might not have any pool table, but you surely have that one room that nobody uses, or uses once a day.

Remember to close off all doors, vents and windows of any unused rooms and avoid spreading the heat of the space you use.

Consider using space heaters… but not too much!

How much space in your house do you use? Probably not much. If you are going to be in just a few rooms or a particular section of those few rooms, you may want to consider carrying a space heater.

This is especially true for big houses, where keeping everything warm is expensive and inefficient.

Bring an energy-efficient heater with you or set up various energy-saving heaters in closed-off areas where they are particularly effective (bathrooms, garages…) and those places where you like to spend most of your time.

However, you should be careful when choosing your space heaters and go for an energy-saving heater, as these little machines (especially the old ones) can consume large amounts of electricity. In any case, they can be still a better option than relying on your natural gas.

Heat Your Body Instead of Your Room

This is another great yet often overlooked source of free energy. If you are wondering about how to warm up your house without electricity, remember that the heat of your body (or that of your pets, for that matter!) also has value.

You don’t carry your heater outdoors with you, don’t you? Then you should consider relying more on winter clothes and blankets rather than on your natural gas heating as well.

One of the best winter energy-saving tips we can give you is to get an efficient heat blanket, as these are one of the best ways to warm up your body and a much cheaper option than using power-hungry space heaters.

Manage Your Appliances Wisely

Short showers

Is it really necessary to sing all movements of Beethoven's 9th symphony every time you take a shower? Absolutely, but it’s even more necessary to ramp up those winter savings, so this is another of the easiest energy-saving tips for winter.

If you couple this tip with lowering your water heat thermostat, you will be sparing a significant amount of water, electricity, time and money. Keep your showers short (and efficient!).

The Oven can heat much more than food

Have you ever opened your oven door, thrilled to get your hands on that well-deserved and tasty pizza, only to find the scorching winds of the Martian desert burn your face? Of course, you have, but why not take that to your advantage?

We recommend avoiding cooking in the oven as much as possible, as that is one of the most power-hungry kitchen appliances, but if you do, always remember to leave the door ajar in winter. Doing so will help you warm not only your kitchen but also the nearby rooms!

Does your ceiling fan have a reverse switch?

If you don't even have a ceiling fan, you can skip to the next tip… but if you do have one, it's time for some basic physics.

When ceiling fans rotate clockwise, they are pushing the air down to create that chilling effect. Most ceiling fans nowadays have a reverse rotation functionality to generate the opposite outcome. The fan will collect the warm air from the ceiling and push it downwards. It’s not rocket science, but it keeps you warm nonetheless.


Non-Essential Appliances are Non-Essential for a Reason

That rusty old console you have lying around might have been there since before Oceania was a continent, but if it's plugged into the power, it’s costing you money. Even on standby, your electronic devices can use up to 10% of your household’s electricity.

Remember to always unplug any electronic devices you are not using (televisions, printers, computers…) and you will lower your electricity bill.

Be Conservative with Your Water Heat Thermostat

We all like a hot shower… but how hot is hot? The answer is: as much as you want it to be, of course.

However, it is also common sense that the more you heat your water, the more energy (and money) you will be wasting. We recommend you set your water heat thermostat to a lower temperature. You don’t need to scald your skin to enjoy a cozy shower, and your winter savings will increase significantly.

Don't Forget Your Regular Thermostat! You can make a huge difference on your electricity bill by just lowering a bit your thermostat. Find a temperature you are comfortable with and you will notice the difference over time. This tip is specially efficient when combined with using winter clothes and heat blankets.

LED Lights Lead the Way

It’s 2022 and you are probably using LEDs already. If you are not, then this is another tip that will help you save big money over time (along with many other benefits).

LED consumes about 85% less energy than conventional halogen and filament lights and produces the same amount of light. On top of that, LED lamps can last up to 20 more years than traditional bulbs and 10 more years than compact fluorescent lights (CFL) so they won’t just ramp up your winter savings for this year, but also for many years to come.

Get Yourself an Energy-Efficient Heater

That old heater that so diligently has kept you warm during countless winters is now costing you more money than it should.

Purchasing an energy-saving heater will significantly reduce your electricity bill. Consider getting a reverse-cycle air conditioning unit and always remember to clean up your heater’s filter before using it.

Welcome to Off-Peak Times

You may think running your dryer at 11 pm is strange (it kind of is a bit weird), but we are here to save money, and nothing will get in the way. 

However, before adopting any funny new routines, you should check what kind of tariff you have. Is your tariff a time-of-use tariff? If so, this means you are being charged differently depending on the time of the day.

During peak hours (those of highest electricity demand) you will get charged more than average and during off-peak hours (those of lowest electricity demand) you will get charged less. Remember to check which are the off-peak times for your region and plan when to use your major appliances accordingly

Consider Switching Energy Providers

switch energy providers and save money

Arguably, one of the best energy-saving tips we can give you is to go on an energy retailer hunt.

The energy market in Australia is volatile and rates go up and down all the time. It is easy to get used to the same provider that you have been using for many years, but chances are that you can find better plans and cheaper rates by just comparing electricity and gas providers.

With the ongoing energy crisis, many retailers have significantly increased their charges and customers all over Australia have experienced big hikes in their electricity bills. We encourage you to delve deep into the different plans and rates available in your region and reach out to us with any questions that might arise.


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