How upgrading old household appliances could save you money
That old washing machine, heater and fridge may be adding hundreds of dollars to your yearly power bills.
That old dishwasher may have served you well over the past decade, but it could be costing you up to 25 per cent more to run than a new machine. Still using that trusty old washing machine? It’s likely guzzling a third more power than an energy-efficient new one. As for your ageing air-conditioner, upgrading to an efficient split-system will likely save you one-third of your running costs.
In many instances, holding on to old appliances to avoid spending money is a false economy. It might be more cost effective to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model that will shave hundreds of dollars off your yearly power bills – especially when you consider that electricity prices will probably keep rising, around three per cent every year, at a conservative estimate.
RACV Solar’s energy expert Tom McKenzie says common household appliances have come a long way in terms of energy efficiency over the past decade or so. And when you consider that whitegoods, heating and cooling, and water heating account for more than 90 per cent of the average household’s power bills, the extra cost of running ageing appliances can quickly mount up.
Factor in government rebates that reward those who upgrade to new energy-efficient models, and it might be time to take a long hard look at those trusty old appliances and consider whether it’s worth upgrading to something new.
As an added bonus, many new appliances also come equipped with smart technology that can help deliver further savings, especially if you have rooftop solar. For example, Tom explains that you can use your smartphone to turn on the washing machine remotely during the day to run it off solar power, or turn on the air-conditioner to pre-cool the house before you get home.
When choosing a new appliance, always check the energy rating label and choose the model with the highest number of stars. If you want a more accurate estimate of how much the appliance will cost to run, check out the energy rating calculator offered by the federal government’s Equipment Energy Efficiency program.
And if you want to avoid wasting money and energy, remember to turn off your appliances when not in use. Some estimates say that in many homes the standby mode for appliances drains three per cent of annual energy usage.