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Home Electric Appliance Power Usage.  


All appliances are not created equal. Some of the most costly appliances to run in your home and office are those that either heat or cool, such as the following:


  • Air conditioning
  • Clothes dryers and washers
  • Electric heating
  • Electric stoves
  • Electric water heaters
Look for the power efficiency label to help you select household electrical equipment purchases. Energy labelling is designed to make the energy efficiency of a product a key feature in its selection.

The Energy Rating label enables consumers to compare the power efficiency of domestic appliances on a fair and equitable basis. It also provides incentive for manufacturers to improve the energy power usage performance of appliances.

The Energy Rating Label was first introduced in 1986 in NSW and Victoria. It is now mandatory in all states and territories for refrigerators, freezer, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and air-conditioners (single phase only) to carry the label when they are offered for sale. Three phase airconditioners may carry an energy label if the suppliers chooses to apply for one.

The Energy Rating Label has two main features:

  • The star rating gives a quick comparative assessment of the model's energy efficiency
  • The comparative energy consumption (usually kilowatt hours/year) provides an estimate of the annual energy consumption of the appliance based on the tested energy consumption and information about the typical use of the appliance in the home. Airconditioners show the home power consumption of the appliance (kW or kWh/hour).

The Star Rating of an appliance is determined from the power consumption and size of the product. These values are measured under Australian Standards which define test procedures for measuring energy consumption and minimum energy performance criteria. Appliances must meet these criteria before they can be granted an Energy Rating Label.

Be aware, too, that old appliances and equipment are not as efficient as today's models. A refrigerator that is 10 or more years old might be using twice as much electricity, and an older electric hot water heater that is not insulated well will also consume more.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning can account for half or more of summer electrical power bills. Setting that room air conditioner to 24 C  will provide the most comfort at the least cost. (Every degree below that costs three to five per cent more energy.) But consider, too, that a ceiling fan or portable fan would cost a fraction of what a central or room air conditioner would cost for every hour of active use.

Air Conditioning Power Use Example

Power use For Air Conditioner rated at 7200 watts ( 30 amp unit ) and used for 5 hours a day :

( 7200 Watts x  5 hours  )   ÷ 1000
= 36 kWh x .19 cents/kWh ( kwh-power company charge )
=$6.84  for three hours use.


Clothes Dryers (and washers)

An average clothes dryer will consume up to 5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) for every hour of use, and that can add up fast. So, when time-of-use rates are in effect, aiming to shift clothes washing and drying to off-peak hours will result in real savings.

Clothes Dryer Power Use

Power use For Clothes Dryer rated at 5000 watts and used for 3 hours a day :

( 5000 Watts x  3 hours  )   ÷ 1000
= 15 kWh x .19 cents/kWh ( kwh-power company charge )
=$2.85  for three hours use.

Electric Heating

Electric heating is one of the more costly methods of home heating. Installing programmable thermostats, however, can help control this expense. Look for fan operated models with thermostat control, if radiant heating is the preferred option thermostat control should be a priority. For more on heating alternatives visit heating.

Electric Stoves

Since an electric stove is also a heavy electricity consumer, it makes sense to maximize every hour of use. For example, try to plan meals that allow more than one dish to be cooked in it. Or, consider using another option like a microwave or toaster oven, whenever you can.

Estimate Power use for Electric Oven and Stove

Stove / Oven Power Use Example:

Power use For Stove & Ovens rated at 2200 watts and used for 3 hours a day :

( 2200 Watts x  3 hours  )   ÷ 1000
= 6.6 kWh x .19 cents/kWh ( kwh-power company charge )
=$1.25  for three hours use.

Electric Water Heaters

An electric hot water heater is second only to electric heat in terms of electricity use. Depending on your consumption, an alternative, such as solar system or one that will produce hot water on-demand, may be worth considering. It's also possible to save significantly through adjusting your  Water Heater thermostat to about 55C.