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How much your appliances are really costing you

2 November 2018

If you’re planning a trip to the whitegoods store for a new TV, fridge, washer, dryer or dishwasher, keep in mind that just because one model is cheaper than another, doesn’t mean you’ll be saving money.

When you compare any appliances with each other, different factors will affect the price: the size, the make and model and the energy efficiency.

If you find yourself cruising through the store, you may notice the Energy Rating sticker- the red and yellow sticker with a star rating. The purpose of that rating is to show you the energy efficiency of that appliance. If the appliance is rated 1-star, it’s not very energy efficient. If it has a 10-star rating, it is extremely energy efficient.

Most seasoned shoppers will associate that rating with how environmentally-friendly the product is, which is true. Another way to look at it, is how much that appliance is going to cost you in the long run.

Energy pricing and tariffs

Regardless of what appliances you own or how often you run them, the best way to save money on energy is to pay less for it.

The important term you need to know is ‘energy tariff’ - this is the amount of money an energy retailer will charge you for the electricity or gas that you use. How much they charge you will change depending on what kind of meter you have, where you live and what plan you are on.

The best way to know if you are getting a fair deal is by comparing your current energy rates to what other retailers are offering.

Popular household appliances and their costs

Owning an energy-efficient appliance can save you a lot of money over time. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular appliances, and how Star Ratings affect their running costs.


Fridges are a prime example of a higher energy rating saving you money on your running costs.

One way that you may have been told in which to save money on your energy bill, is by turning the appliance off at the power point. This is true for most appliances, but in cases such as freezers and fridges, turning off at the outlet isn’t really an option – not without spoiling your food.

This is why it is so important, especially with a fridge, to purchase one with a good Energy Rating, as the less-efficient products will cost you a lot more in the long run.


When most people think of what appliances cost them the most to run, most would answer ‘the fridge’. According to, this isn’t the case, it is often the television that chews up the most power – and therefore costs the most to run.

The tricky thing about owning a television, is that because the technology updates so quickly, that it’s hard to keep up with the most advanced models.

Depending on how long you plan to update your TV, you could save a lot of money by purchasing a more energy-efficient brand. According to Energy Rating, the cost of running a 5-star television is well-less than half of that of a 1-star television.

So next time you look to purchase a television, consider more than merely what will give the best picture.


Anyone who has lived in a house or apartment without a dishwasher knows what a blessing owning one can be. On the other hand, those who own a dishwasher will also know how much they cost to run.

The other key to saving money on your dishwasher, is by using it less. Unlike a fridge, the amount the appliance is going to cost you is largely determined by its use. So, if you are trying to cut down on costs, make sure you don’t run your dishwasher unless it is full.

When you browse the dishwashers in the store, you will notice another blue rating label - this is the Water Rating. Similarly, to a toilet or washing machine, you will also need to factor in the Water Rating as the appliance uses both electricity and water.

Washer and dryer

Washer and dryers are usually come in pairs – especially for those who want the better aesthetic of having matching appliances.

Like owning a dishwasher, the cost of a washing machine is based on the water efficiency, the energy efficiency and how often it is used.

Clothes dryers on the other hand only use electricity and can cost an absolute fortune to run.

If you were to have a 5kg machine with a 3-star Energy Rating running once a week, that would cost you roughly $55 annually. If you are any good at maths, you can probably guess that running the same machine 3 times a week will cost roughly $165 each year.

Particularly if you live in an apartment, owning a dryer is usually not optional. So, if you must own one, just keep in mind that the more you use it, the more it’s going to cost – in a big way.

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Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you.